n Agrekon - Perceptions of farm worker equity-share schemes in South Africa : article

Volume 41, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0303-1853
  • E-ISSN: 2078-0400
  • Author S.L. Knight and M.C. Lyne
  • Source : Agrekon, Volume 41, Issue 4, Dec 2002, p. 356 - 374
  • Accreditation : Arts and Humanities Citation Index (Web of Science (WoS) Core Collection)
    The International Bibliography of Social Sciences (IBSS)
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Farm worker equity-share schemes have received both positive and negative publicity since they were initiated by the private sector in the early 1990's. This paper adds to the debate surrounding these land reform projects. In particular, it compares the results of case studies conducted by the Surplus People's Project (SPP) in 1998 with more recent (2001) case studies. The latter suggest that many of the concerns raised by the SPP, such as beneficiaries' participation and expectations, power relations between management and worker-shareholders, skills transfer and labour relations have been addressed. The paper also highlights those issues that remain areas of concern, for example, beneficiaries' tenure security, literacy levels amongst worker shareholders, skill and wage differences between men and women, and exit procedures. It is recommended that Department of Land Affairs (DLA) grants should be awarded only to beneficiaries of projects that have been co- financed by a bank or reputable investor as this ensures a thorough financial assessment of the project, and only to projects that can demonstrate a history of good labour relations. It is also recommended that the DLA should consider extending its grants to regular but seasonal farm workers who wish to participate in an established project. While fam worker equity-share schemes may not provide all the answers to land reform they have an important role to play in redistributing wealth and deracialising commercial agriculture in South Africa.

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