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Doing it better second time around

Author: Bernadette Atuahene

South Africa recently began its second round of restitution when President Zuma signed the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act.

Bernadette Atuahene’s recently released book, We Want What’s Ours: Learning from South Africa’s Land Restitution Programme (Oxford University Press), is based on interviews with 150 ordinary South Africans forcibly removed from urban areas during apartheid. The book reveals that only about 80000 individuals and communities had filed claims by the 1998 deadline because of poor publicity, misinformation, procrastination and disbelief that the post-apartheid state had the ability to deliver compensation.

We must learn from the mistakes made in round one to ensure that round two restores property and dignity to dispossessed populations.

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