n Agrekon - Exploring options in reforming South African land ownership : opportunities for sharing land, labour and expertise

Volume 52, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0303-1853
  • E-ISSN: 2078-0400
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In many developing countries, land ownership remains a subject of contention. In South Africa, notwithstanding the strides that have been made to foster equitable land ownership, land reform policies have been unsuccessful in delivering land to the poor majority. Due to the nature of agriculture as a source of food production and national security, and the lack of farming skills and related competencies' equilibrium, programmes intended to deliver land to black people have been inadequate in their reach. Whereas policy has emphasised the urgency of solving equity issues in land ownership, equally challenging has been finding the right set of programmes to achieve this without triggering a perennial land ownership squabble. After 18 years of democracy, a need remains to find a balance between continuity in food production and equitable redistribution of land in South African agriculture. In this paper, we argue that it is possible to achieve equitable and fair redistribution of land without inhibiting agricultural production, through land sharing. We show that sharing land could help fast-track the development of a farming skills and related competencies' equilibrium between black and white farmers. The paper further demonstrates that the gains in land sharing far outweigh other programmes of land reform that have been used and suggested thus far.

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