n Journal for Contemporary History - Disputed land: The historical development of the South African land issue, 1652-2011, Louis Changuion and Bertus Steenkamp : book review

Volume 38, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0258-2422
  • E-ISSN: 2415-0509



The year 2013 marks the centenary of the proclamation of the important 1913 Land Act in South Africa. The present inequitable distribution of land as faced by the African National Congress (ANC) government in the post-apartheid South Africa can be traced back to the Natives Land Act of 1913, the Urban Areas Act of 1923, and the Group Areas Act of 1950. In the 1990s, after the unbanning of the ANC, there were high expectations among both the rural and urban people (especially those who were victims of land dispossessions) that land would be speedily returned to them and that the advent of democracy would mean that opportunities to own and use land would be opened up across the country. After 1998, the ANC came with rather an unsuccessful ambitious plan of at least returning 30 percent of land to the original inhabitants by 2014. The ANC's government has since acknowledged that the above will be unrealizable.

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