n Africa Insight - Land restitution during apartheid's dying days : the struggle for restoration and resolution in Roosboom

Volume 34, Issue 2_3
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


The dispossession of land was a critical factor in the inequitable distribution of political power and wealth in South Africa. There have been several analyses of the nature of land reform in the post-1994 period. The focus of this paper is on land restoration and restitution between 1990 and 1993, the transitional period to democracy. The paper evaluates the land restitution initiatives of the apartheid government, and analyses the struggles of the Roosboom community in northern KwaZulu-Natal to regain their lost land. Development strategies in Roosboom in the post-apartheid era are also assessed. The paper presents a record of the history of a dispossessed community and its transition during the last days of apartheid and the early years of the democratic era. The Roosboom case study provides insight into the complex South African history of land dispossession. It highlights the depth of human suffering endured by black freehold communities in South Africa, when their areas were designated as black spots and expropriated.

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