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Wading In: The Realities of Land Tenure Reform in the Communal Areas of the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Ainslie, Andrew
Conference: Crossing Boundaries, the Seventh Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Conf. Date: June 10-14
Date: 1998
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/2292
Sector: Land Tenure & Use
Region: Africa
Subject(s): IASC
common pool resources
land tenure and use
property rights
Abstract: "The African National Congress (ANC) government's Land Reform Programme, as articulated in the 'White Paper on South African Land Policy' of 1997 (DLA 1997), has moved beyond debate and policy formulation to actual implementation. As a key agent of change in these land reform processes, the policies and actions of the state will remain the subject of on-going, critical analysis. The aim of this paper is to examine the usefulness of those areas of tenure reform policy which appear to draw on insights from models of common property systems. The paper explores how closely conditions in the 'communal' tenure areas in the Eastern Cape approximate 'functioning' common property systems and how useful it is to use common property models as a basis for policy- making and tenure reform interventions in these areas. In examining these issues, the paper looks at one of the many cases of 'spontaneous' land reform taking place in the province, with a view to offering insights into the likely effects of implementing land reform policies on social relations and resource management systems in rural areas subjected to 'communal' land tenure systems. It concludes that while the circumstances that prevail in these areas bear some resemblance to models of common property, few of management features of common property systems seem to have persisted in these areas."

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