Assumptions Raise Questions About South Africa's Land Reform Plan

The South African government recently announced a plan to allocate 700,000 hectares of state land to black farmers. Exactly how many farms and beneficiaries this will involve is unclear. But there's a huge amount wrong with the idea. First, it reproduces the core weaknesses of post-apartheid land and agricultural policies, which do little to reduce unemployment or enhance rural livelihoods. Secondly, it is positive that weaknesses in land administration are acknowledged, but no details have been offered. It is urgent that land policies provide real opportunities to create jobs, increase the incomes of the poor and enhance livelihoods, writes Ben Cousins for The Conversation.


Farmland in the Overberg region of the Western Cape of South Africa (file photo).

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