Agriculture, land reform and development in South Africa : public policy for social upliftment

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 2
  • SDG 1
  • Abstract:

    The dislocation (within national borders) of indigenous Africans from their land, represents one of the most tragic and explosive remnants of colonialism to befall the African continent. In recent times, the Governments of Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa (among others) have been under immense pressure from their majority black population groups to address the 'land question' in an attempt to reverse the negative outcomes of colonial exploitation. European colonial rulers contributed greatly to poverty among Africa's majority populations, as they sought to enrich themselves and their settler populations at the expense of blacks. The legacy of poverty still persists to this day, as does the legacy of dis-enfranchisement of blacks from access to and use of land. Some have argued that land reform should take place as a matter of 'righting' past wrongs' and also to alleviate poverty and contribute to development. The contrary argument is that returning land to indigenous Africans would be disastrous, as they do not have the necessary acumen and skills to make productive use of the land. Land reform in the South African context is the focus of this paper. More specifically, the article assesses the appropriateness of Government's land reform policy.