Assessing Common Property Institutions: Translating Tenure Security, Equity and Participation into Observable Indicators for the Assessment of Legal Entities in South African Communal Land Ownership

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"One of the objectives of the South African Land Reform Programme is to improve the tenure security of rural people in a framework that permits and supports communal tenure forms, rather than imposing freehold tenure on unwilling rural communities. In view of this, trusts and Communal Property Associations (CPAs) are being established to hold and administer new communal land tenure projects. There is broad agreement that the community institutions established to hold and manage land are key to the long term success of land reform. "The Legal Entity Assessment Project (LEAP) was established to investigate concerns expressed about the long terms viability of the relevant trusts and CPAs, as no such assessment had been carried out. The development of concrete indicators for assessing tenure security, resource management, institutional capacity and the realisation of goals of equity, democracy and participation, are key to this broader understanding and assessment of these legal entities. "This paper aims to translate broader research and theoretical concepts for understanding common property institutions, into concrete indicators and factors which can contribute meaningfully to the assessment of the common property institutions established through land reform in South Africa. This research is driven by the principle that our findings suggest ways in which the implementation of land reform policy in South Africa can be improved."
IASC, common pool resources, land tenure and use, institutional analysis, policy analysis