• Many beneficiaries of the land reform programme often misconceive that good corporate governance is a luxury exclusive to large corporate organisations and irrelevant in the administration of their assets. While this view is fundamentally incorrect it is somewhat understandable, given the impact of dispossession and limited understanding of commercial principles among many members of claimant communities.

    In light of the reported widespread failure of farms allocated to beneficiary communities under the government land reform project, primarily due to the lack of post-settlement support, it has become evident that maintaining the productivity of the land necessitates financial and other forms of support including collaboration with other players such as the private sector in order to tap on their expertise.

    Communal Property Associations (CPAs), the landholding institutions established by law to acquire and manage beneficiary land, often grapple with effective management of restored land. They are often marred by infighting, factionalism, patronage, and a lack of accountability, resulting in mismanagement of restored land and misappropriation of funds. This is mainly due to a lack of good governance to guide the effective running of their land enterprises. It is therefore imperative to professionalise the management of land by beneficiary communities in order to instil confidence and attract much-needed investment to the land enterprise.

    The private sector possesses the necessary skills, markets, and access to finance to help claimant communities sustain and scale their operations on restituted land.

  • South Africa's land reform policy remains highly contested. But, in our view, a number of persistent myths about farmland statistics and the structure of commercial agriculture skew debates. This makes it difficult to reach some common understanding about the realities of land and agriculture in the country.

  • The Tyhume River, flowing from the forested Amathole Mountains in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province, gives its name to a valley of 20 villages on communal land. Much of the land is being used to keep livestock, as crop production has declined over the years. This land is under the custodianship of traditional leaders.

  • We have the land, we have the hands, but where is the plan to put them together so that our country can actually work?” This question rings in my ears every time I think about land in South Africa.

  • The National Council of Provinces, with eight provinces for and the Western Cape against, has adopted the Expropriation Bill. However, the legislation must return to the National Assembly for changes to be approved. That means its 16-year legislative journey is unlikely to be completed before the May elections.

  • The 64th commemoration of Human Rights Day on 21 March 2024 serves as a stark reminder of the brutality of the apartheid regime and the urgency to address the legacy of landlessness that was precipitated by state-orchestrated land dispossession which created racially skewed ownership patterns that have excluded the majority of South Africans from land assets and inclusion in rural economies.

  • The South African agriculture sector is not immune to politics. Agriculture is a vital sector of the economy.

  • The Land Act of 1936 restricted the ownership of rural land to white farmers only.