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Workshop report: National Land Workshop for Civil Society

A number of recent government policies and bills seem to suggest that land may increasingly be transferred into the hands of traditional leaders and other elite strategic partners, rather than to communities, who will instead have conditional tenure and perhaps remain permanent tenants of the state.

The policies/bills include the Revised Restitution Amendment Bill; CPA Amendment Bill; Draft Communal Tenure Policy; State Land Leasing & Disposal Policy; Recapitalisation & Development Policy; ESTA Amendment Bill; Farm Worker Tenure Policy; Agricultural Landholding Policy Framework. Prompted by these recent policies, NGOs, CBOs, academic institutes/centres and community members came together to develop a strategy and responses pertaining to communal land tenure, farm worker tenure, smallholder farmers, land redistribution, restitution, rural development and agrarian reform.

The workshop was held on 3–4 October 2013 at Stay City (Berea, Johannesburg) and hosted by the Centre for Law and Society (UCT), the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (UWC), and Tshintsha Amakhaya. The Legal Resources Centre provided legal advice at the workshop. The workshop comprised over 100 participants from eight different provinces: Western Cape, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal, North-West, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo. They came from various organisations including farmers associations, community property associations (CPAs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs), networks, community based organisations (CBOs), and displaced community members from mining communities. The participants shared a common connection to the land.

Source Virginia Molose (PLAAS)

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