South Africa: Land Reform Report Is Big On Historical Context, Sketchy On the Future


One of the main concerns with the proposals contained in the report of the advisory panel on land reform and agriculture is that some of them gloss over the deep challenges, like the painstakingly slow finalisation of the backlog of around 20,000 land claims.

When the advisory panel on land reform and agriculture released its final report in late July, six key opportunities were highlighted to address more equitable distribution of South Africa's land. The report cautions that the land reform process in the context of South Africa is complicated, and in reference to the most controversial aspect of land reform, namely expropriation without compensation (EWC), states that it cannot be fixed through one constitutional amendment (section 25).

While the spirit of the report and its detail in outlining the historical and legislative contexts of the current land debate are commendable, certain recommendations will potentially be problematic in implementation, while others will require an establishment of new policies as "work-arounds" in order to address the challenges to finding a just and equitable distribution of land.

One of the main concerns with the proposals contained in the report is that some of them seem to gloss over the deep structural and...

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