What is the future of land reform in South Africa? What could happen by 2030? Click here to read more on four scenarios for land reform in South Africa.


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Commission on Restitution of Land Rights on its 2014/15 Annual Report | Parliamentary Monitoring Group

The Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform was briefed by the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights (CRLR) on its 2014/15 annual report. The Commission had exceeded its targets by settling 428 new claims against a target of 379; finalising 372 claims against a target of 239; approving 119 projects against a target of 53; researching 1 525 claims against a target of 1 445; establishing 14 operational claims lodgement offices; and acquiring four mobile lodgement offices.

Restitution claims settled between1 April 2014 and 31 March 2015 were: Western Cape 194; Eastern Cape 79; Free State one; Gauteng nine; KZN 59; Limpopo 35; Mpumalanga 35; Northern Cape nine; and North West seven. The total financial value of the claims that were approved during the period under review was R 2.778 billion. Total expenditure was R2.488 billion. Expenditure included backlog claims which had been approved in previous financial years, where payments had not yet taken place. Expenditure for claims approved prior to 2014 had been R501 million, while expenditure for claims approved in 2014/15 had been R1.987 billion.

Follow the link below to read the minutes of this meeting on the PMG website:


Land Reform – A Precondition for Sustainable Economic Development

The phrase “land reform” often conjures up memories, for those leaning right, of frightening extreme-left ideologies. On the progressive left, meanwhile, land reform is often treated as a passé topic.  

With the advent of rising inequality, climate change, weak government institutions, failed states, terrorism, corruption, and a whole slew of other socio-economic problems—sown or exacerbated by three decades of neoliberal policies in the “developing world” (Global South)—it is high time we revisit the issue of land reform. We need to bring it back to the center of the discussion on sustainable economic development. Land reform is not political extremism; rather, it is a critical policy mechanism for the world to address issues of poverty, hunger, urban slums, and good governance.

 What is “land reform”? It is usually defined as the redistribution of large landholdings to smaller ones. Land is transferred from large landlords to those who have been working the land as tenants (such as sharecroppers) or paid agricultural workers, as well as dispossessed underemployed or unemployed urban workers who migrated from rural areas looking for employment and wound up living in urban slums. That is one model of land reform. Another model is redistribution in the form of rural communes or cooperative or collective farms. A combination of the two models is also possible.

 Follow the link below to read the full article:



Why land evokes such deep emotions in Africa | The Conversation

Land is often discussed in economic terms. Debates on the need for land redistribution in Africa focus on whether intended beneficiaries will put the resource to maximum economic and productive use and, moreover, whether they are able to ensure the food security of the nation and realise a surplus for export.

This is mainly the case in Zimbabwe, which has faced food shortages, and is currently the debate in South Africa.

Nonetheless, land remains an emotive topic in both contexts and throughout the continent.

This prompts a fundamental question: why should land be discussed only in economic terms? The answers are to be found in how colonial modernity was ushered in, as a gamut of historical experience comprising murder, genocide, destruction of existing knowledge and large-scale dispossession of indigenous occupancy.

These facts about the colonial enterprise, of which land was the basis, defined and redefined African agency and reality through subjection and rejection of African personhood as Europeans strove to claim land and eliminate all that occupied it.

Click here to read Kenneth Tafira’s article Why land evokes such deep emotions in Africa.

Rural Development and Land Reform Dept Budget Vote 2015/16


On 8 May 2015 Deputy Minister Mcebisi Skwatsha presented the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform’s 2015/16 Budget Vote. In his speech he confirmed the Department’s commitment to the goals of the National Development Plan and indicated that accordingly the Department will transfer another 8.9 million hectares of agricultural land by 2030.

Chapter 6 of the NDP sets a target of transferring 20% of agricultural land to black people by 2030.

20% of the 82 million hectares of agricultural land translates into 16.4 million hectares. From 1994 to December 2014 the state transferred 7.5 million hectares, or 46% of the 16.4m hectares, to black farmers. Of the 7.5 million hectares already transferred, 4.4 million hectares were redistributed land and 3.1 million hectares was restitution in settlement of land claims.

To meet the NDP target we need to transfer another 8.9 million hectares of agricultural land by 2030.”

He went on to give some indication of the hectares acquired to date and also what the target is for the 2015/16 financial year.

“Since 2009, government has acquired 1.76 million hectares of land. For the 2014/15 financial year, the department acquired 209 580 hectares, at a cost of R1.2 billion.

For the current 2015/16 financial year we intend acquiring 208 350 hectares at a cost of R1.253 billion. Of this, R141.19 million will be spent on acquiring land for farm dwellers, and R132.19 million for labour tenants.”

To read Deputy Minister’s full speech go to http://www.gov.za/speeches/budget-policy-speech-deputy-minister-hon-m-skwatsha-8-may-2015-0000; also see http://www.gov.za/speeches/minister-gugile-nkwinti-rural-development-and-land-reform-dept-budget-vote-201516-8-may.

Please share your comments and views on Department of Rural Development and Land Reform’s 2015/16 Budget Vote.

Land reform and black empowerment in South Africa – lessons from Zimbabwe | AllAfrica Article

Ever since the acquisition of independence by Zimbabwe and South Africa in 1980 and 1994, respectively, the issue of land reform and black empowerment has remained a topical issue. Soon after independence, both countries engaged in land acquisition programs employing the “willing seller, willing buyer” concept; much to the gratification of the Bretton Woods Institution and the then imperialists who forced the concept on the politically independent Southern African countries. This was a sad case, since the chimurenga war in Zimbabwe and the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa were all stirred by the need for holistic land ownership. For both liberation movements, this was a case of winning the battle but losing the war. To date, the “willing seller, willing buyer” concept with its capacity short falls is still the governing model of land reform in South Africa.

 Contrary to this, Zimbabwe in 1999/2000 engaged in historic fast track land reform that witnessed land redistribution from the white minority to the poverty stricken black majority. However the land reform fused a train of events that has resulted in international derogation of Zimbabwe, plus economic and political turmoil engineered through propaganda coupled with neo-liberal, regime change political projects. In this light, the South African government can draw valuable lessons from the Zimbabwe predicament by engaging in a more cautious, yet speedy, land reform, which is instrumental in poverty alleviation and transformation of the currently skewed land ownership and income per capita distribution, without deterring foreign direct investment. Though Zimbabwe drowns in the murky waters of economic turmoil, black Zimbabweans are empowered and enjoy ownership of arable tracts of land. The same cannot be said for South Africa, which has deep seated disequilibrium in land ownership and a mind boggling poverty gap between the poor households and the elite in a surprisingly upper middle income country.

 Follow the link below to read the full article:


Please share your thoughts on the this article.

Commission on Restitution of Land Rights: Strategic Plan 2015-2020 and Annual Performance Plan 2015/16 briefing |Parliamentary Monitoring Group

On 16 April 2915 Ms Nomfundo Gobodo, Chief Land Claims Commissioner, Commission on Restitution of Land Rights, took the Rural Development and Land Reform National Assembly Committee through the Strategic Plan 2015-2010 and the Annual Performance Plan 2015/15.

She stated that the Commission had adopted the McKinsey7 framework as a management tool in achieving its goals. Explaining each part of the framework, she emphasised the need to define the mandate of the Commission, as it had been observed in times past that there was often usually a clash in the functions and responsibilities of the Department and the Commission. There was a need for the Commission to be autonomous.

The issue of inadequate communication and awareness-raising on the part of the Commission was acknowledged. There were already efforts being made to remedy that situation. An example was the unveiling of the mobile lodgment offices.

Click here to read the full PMG article and to download the Strategic Plan 2015-2020 and Annual Performance Plan 2015/2016 of Commission on Restitution of Land Rights

Please share your thoughts on the Commission’s Strategic Plan 2015-2010 and the Annual Performance Plan 2015/15.


Land Reform Futures – join the conversation



What if South Africans with different interests in land reform could create a shared map of the alternative paths into the future?

Let’s start a process of imagining possible alternative land reform scenarios for South Africa – what could happen—not about what will happen (a forecast) or about what should happen (a wish or proposal).


South Africa’s land reform: what does the future hold? by Ruth Hall on 31 March 2015

What does the future hold for South Africa’s confused, conflictual and stagnant land reform process? Can it be turned around and make a real contribution to changing our economy and society? Or will it be hijacked by narrow self-interest, or stymied by state incapacity?

These are just a few of many different possible storylines about potential ‘futures’ for land reform that were discussed by about 80 participants in a meeting to kickstart a scenario planning process for South Africa’s land reform, at the Gordon Institute for Business Science (GIBS) in Johannesburg yesterday.


Changing the nature of the conversation on land reform by Brian Whittaker on 30 March 2015

It is hard to see how the many different things happening in land reform come together to meet our constitutional obligations in a sustainable way.

Valuable work is being done by communities, government officials, private companies, academics, consultants and development agencies in support of land reform.

I am sure that we can all tick off some successes. But it is as if we are each working away in our own corner of the forest making our own paths as we struggle through the undergrowth. Policy and legislative directives intended to forge a common route collide with competing ideas of where we are and how we got here and conflict with alternative perspectives on where we should be heading.

Discussions are conducted in short, shrill sound bites. There is not enough time to listen. Views that don’t accord with our own are dismissed as unjust or unworkable.

The nature of the conversation must change if we are to make progress. The development of scenarios for the future of land reform is intended to create a space and start a process where the nature of the conversation can change.


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