Livestock and the rangeland commons in South Africa’s land and agrarian reform

14 Jun 2013

Land and agrarian reform has the potential to expand South Africa’s rangeland commons and enhance their contribution to the livelihoods of the rural poor, yet to a large extent this has been an opportunity missed. Shifting policy agendas have prioritised private land rights and commercial land uses, seeking to dismantle the racial divide between the white commercial farming areas and the ex-Bantustans by allocating former white farms to black farmers. These agendas and planning models reflect class and gender bias and a poor understanding of common property. If reform policies are to contribute to the reduction of high levels of rural poverty and inequality, then greater recognition of the potential role of livestock production on the commons must inform policy and planning.