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Capitalist Collectivisation? How Inappropriate Models of Common Property are Hampering South Africa's Land Reform

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Lahiff, Edward
Conference: Governing Shared Resources: Connecting Local Experience to Global Challenges, the Twelfth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Commons
Location: Cheltenham, England
Conf. Date: July 14-18, 2008
Date: 2008
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/749
Sector: Land Tenure & Use
Region: Africa
Subject(s): land tenure and use
governance and politics
community participation
common pool resources
Abstract: "South Africa's land reform programme has been dominated by the redistribution of sizable properties to large community based groups. Emerging evidence suggests that newly created communal property institutions are widely failing to carry out their functions in terms of land administration, and that as the result, many land reform projects are failing to deliver the expected benefits to their members. Drawing on recent national surveys, and case studies from Limpopo province, this paper explores the difficulties being experienced by new communal property institutions and possible reasons for their lack of effectiveness. Particular attention is paid to the policy framework implemented by the Department of Land Affairs which is oriented towards the preservation of the structure of large-scale commercial agriculture and hostile to the subdivision of properties for household, use. As a result, large community groups are typically required not only to hold land communally, but also to use it as a collective. This paper argues that sustainable common property institutions in South Africas land reform will require a new and more differentiated approach to land use and scales of production."

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