Positioning stakeholder engagement theory on governance of communal farms : a proposed framework for land governance in South Africa

05 Apr 2019

Stakeholder theory has been acknowledged by many scholars to be the most important framework that promote business ethics. The theory asserts that organisations need to consider the interest of groups affected by the organisation. Arguably, the theory has been commonly applied in many organisations and the results of the theory in promoting a long-term success business have been proven by academic literature. Therefore, this paper proposes the application of stakeholder engagement theory in governance of communal farms in South Africa. It is argued in this paper that, land managed through Communal Properties Associations (CPAs), does not yield successful results. It should be noted that there are models that have been put in place to ensure an effective governance of land but there is a whole range of governance problems that emanate from governance of CPAs themselves, the community and the government. In the whole analogy of the systems of managing the land through the CPA model, it becomes clear that governance principles are a problem in CPA farms. Hence, the paper seeks to use the existing literature to propose the positioning of stakeholder engagement theory as a governance model to ensure that land reform, restitutions and redistributions programmes in the country are administered fairly and equally to the deserving South African citizens. The paper concludes that this framework should be regarded as a starting-point for communal farms to better reap some kind of benefits from the engagement of different stakeholders in communal farming to promote the benefits of the citizens and minimise the negative effects that causes failure in governance of communal farms. Keywords: Communal Farms, Communal Properties Associations, Framework, Governance, Stakeholders & Stakeholder Engagement Theory