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n Journal for Juridical Science - Undoing the injustices of the past : restitution of rights in land in post-apartheid South Africa, with special reference to the North-West Province

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Abstract

This article is concerned with the important question of the restitution of rights in land to individuals and communities, dispossessed of such rights under racially discriminatory laws. These laws were buttressed by policies such as "the clearance of blackspots" and "poorly situated areas", "betterment schemes" and "cancellation of title deeds". In the process some three and a half million people were forcibly removed from their ancestral lands leading to the notorious statistics where the white population, comprising less than 20% of the country's total population, owned 87% of the land, leaving 13% to the black peoples. In what is now the North-West Province, the land question was further complicated by the discredited policy of Bantustans. Under this policy, Botswana people were forcibly removed from their ancestral land to form the so-called homeland of Bophuthatswana. South Africa's history of conquest and dispossession, of forced removals and a racially-skewed distribution of land resources has left a painful legacy. This paper examines the achievements and challenges of the land restitution process since its inception in 1994. It is evident from the discussion below that while the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights has achieved some notable results in this complex and dynamic process, much remains to be done in addressing and overcoming an intricate web of challenges in the delivery process. It is hoped that this discussion will make a modest contribution to the on-going debate about reconciliation, reconstruction and development in post-apartheid South Africa.

<b>Regstelling van die verlede se ongeregtighede : die herstel van grondregte in post-apartheid Suid-Afrika, met spesiale verwysing na die Noordwes Provinsie</b> <br>Hierdie artikel handel oor die belangrike vraagstuk van die herstel van grondregte aan individue en gemeenskappe, wie se regte ontneem is as gevolg van diskriminerende wetgewing wat op ras gebaseer is. Hierdie wetgewing is ondersteun deur beleid wat daartoe aanleiding gegee het dat drie en 'n half miljoen mense met geweld van hul voorvaderlike grond verwyder is, wat tot gevolg gehad het dat die blanke bevolking, wat minder as twintig persent van die land se bevolking uitgemaak het, sewe-en-tagtig persent van die land besit het. In die gebied wat vandag as die Noordwes Provinsie bekend staan, is die grondkwessie verder vertroebel deur die gediskrediteerde Bantoestan-beleid waarvolgens die Batswana met geweld van hulle voorvaderlike land verwyder is om die sogenaamde tuisland, Bophuthatswana te vestig. Suid-Afrika se geskiedenis van verowering en ontneming, van gedwonge verwyderings en rasbevooroordele grondverdeling, het 'n pynlike erfenis nagelaat. Hierdie artikel ondersoek die uitdagings en welslae van die grondherstelproses wat in 1994 ingestel is. Daar word aangetoon dat die kommissie op die Herstel van Grondregte redelike sukses in hierdie komplekse en dinamiese proses behaal het, maar dat nog baie gedoen moet word om 'n verwikkelde web van uitdagings in die leweringsproses aan te spreek en te oorkom. Daar word gehoop dat hierdie bespreking 'n beskeie bydrae tot die voortdurende debat aangaande versoening, rekonstruksie en ontwikkeling in 'n post-apartheid Suid-Afrika kan maak.

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/content/juridic/27/2/EJC55486
2002-12-01
2016-12-06
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