Planning ahead

Land Reform Futures Scenarios

Anticipating the future of
land reform

At the beginning of 2015, Vumelana convened a scenario-building process on the future of land reform in South Africa. This process ended with the development of four Land Reform Futures scenarios that aimed to trigger an open and constructive search for strategic responses to the future of land reform.

The four scenarios

Land reform possibilities

The four scenarios tell stories about what could happen to land reform in South Africa by 2030 and how South Africans might respond to the challenges and uncertainties they face about the future of land reform. These are not predictions of what will happen or recommendations about what should happen. Instead they are narratives of what could happen.


Connection and capture.

A story of land as power

This is a story about land reform being captured by politically connected interest groups who benefit at the expense of ordinary people.

Market power and concentration.

 A story of land as a productive asset

In this story, land reform changes the racial profile of concentrated commercial farming without broadening ownership to small farmers and local communities.

Occupation and confiscation.

A story about taking back the land

Deepening hardship and hunger drive a countrywide campaign of illegal occupation and invasion, eventually leading to confiscation without compensation, made possible by a change in the Constitution.

Hard bargaining and compromise

A story about sharing the land

This is a story about an inclusive approach to land reform with a pro-poor orientation.

For more information

Visit the Land Reform Futures scenarios website to read more on the scenarios and download all the available resources.
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