CONCLUSION

The current and recent government land reform policies fall far short of creating conditions for fundamental change in property rights. They will not adequately address the racial inequality that prevails in land ownership and access and offer even less hope for any pro-poor transformation in the nature of the agricultural economy. Statements in the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) drawn up in 1993 held out some hope for transformation of property rights, especially regarding land, but already there were signs that fundamental change was not on the cards.

The more radical suggestions of the RDP on land where never carried through into government policies. Policies from the White paper onwards have tended to fit more and more in line with the large investor driven economic growth priorities of the government that are encapsulated in the Growth Employment And Redistribution (GEAR) policy. This approach is complimented by an incorrect assumption that the existing model of large scale farming in South Africa is highly effective.

This informed proposals from groups such as the ANC aligned Macroeconomic Research Group that in 1993 were already arguing against any large-scale redistribution of land.[32] The limited budgets made available for land reform, combined with a continued commitment to paying market related prices for land, confirm a lack of government commitment to land reform. The failures of land reform delivery have conclusively exposed the policy limitations.

The lack of commitment to bringing a fundamental change in property rights is largely a result of the strong influence on the government of urban and international elites and to a lesser extent organised industrial workers. The rural vote, that has consistently gone the way of the ANC, is still taken for granted and perhaps seen as winnable through making deals with traditional leaders. Any change to prioritise fundamental changes in property rights, through a far reaching land reform, will only happen if the issue is seen as one that could decide the fate of the government. The extent to which the necessary mobilisation of rural landless is feasible is still a subject of debate. Some argue that the agrarian question has already been resolved in South Africa. Bernstein argues that the “former tillers”, mostly located in the former Bantustans, may constitute a social force capable of shaping the future of agrarian issues.[33] The recent establishment of the Landless Peoples Movement appears to be largely premised on the same assumption along with the involvement of some current tillers, in the form of labour tenants and farm workers. Building the strength of such groupings will be the only way to ensure that a fundamental change in property rights takes place in South Africa.

[1] Total population of South Africa (40,583,573) divided by commercial farming units (60,938) multiplied by an estimated average family size of 6. This assumes one owner per farm unit and considers all family members as joint owners. Most farm units are registered in an individual’s name, a Close Corporation or a Trust with the individual or the family as the owner/beneficiary. Some individuals and families own more than one farm unit, while some farm units are owned by farm companies that might have a larger number of shareholders. The averaging out of these different circumstances results in this being a credible estimate for the concentration of land ownership.
[2] Total hectares of farmland owned as commercial farming units (82,209,571) as a percentage of total farmland (100,665,792) and total hectares of commercial farming units as a percentage of total land area of South Africa (122,320,100). Figures sourced from N. Vink. Table 6 and Table 5 respectively (See Appendix A). Unpublished lecture. 2002.
[3] S. B. O. Gutto. Continuing the liberation through land reform: A review and critical assessment of some theories, policies and approaches. Unpublished paper presented at workshop. 2000.
[4] Statistics South Africa. Stats in Brief 2000.
[5] Ibid.
[6] T.A. Manuel, Minister of Finance. Budget Speech. 2002.
[7] Statistics South Africa. Stats in Brief 2000.
[8] J. van Zyl. The farm size-efficiency relationship. In Agricultural Land Reform in South Africa. 1996. 9] Ibid. [10] Ibid.

[11] R. van den Brink, M. de Klerk and H. Binswanger. Rural Livelihoods, fiscal costs and financing options: a first attempt at quantifying the implications of redistributive land reform. In Agricultural Land Reform in South Africa. 1996.

[12] J. Kirsten and J. van Zyl. Agricultural growth linkages: international experiences and some South African estimates. In Agricultural Land Reform in South Africa. 1996. John W. Mellor. Pro-Poor Growth – The Relationship between Agricultural Growth And Poverty Reduction. Unpublished 1999.
[13] The Reconstruction and Development Programme. 1993.
[14] The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996. Act 16 of 1996. [15] D. Mason. No proactive and broad-based and reform here! Statement released by Surplus Peoples Project Feb 2002.
[16] Ibid. [

17] Ibid.
[18] W. A. Mgoqi. End of the year message by the Chief Land Claims Commissioner. 2001.

[19] Restitution Statistics as at 10 January 2002. Source http://land.pwv.gov.za/restitution
[20] The Prevention of Illegal Eviction and Occupation of Land Act is a piece of legislation drawn up and managed by the Department of Housing, but it impacts significantly on tenure issues as it is used by land owners for evictions and has also been used by occupiers to defend their limited rights.
[21] E. Lahiff. Debating land reform and rural development. Land Reform In South Africa: Is It Meeting The Challenge? Source: www.uwc.ac.za/plaas

[22] M.C.A. Wegerif. Creating Long Term Security for Farm Dwellers. A paper presented at the National Land Tenure Conference. 2001. This paper has been referred to extensively for this section on tenure of farm dwellers.
[23] M. Mamdani. Citizen and Subject. 1996.

[24] S. Sibanda. The Principles Underpinning the Communal Land Rights Bill. 2001.

[25] L. Ntsebeza. Unpublished lecture. 2002.

[26] S. B. O. Gutto. Continuing the liberation through land reform: A review and critical assessment of some theories, policies and approaches. Unpublished paper presented at workshop. 2000.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Nkuzi Development Association. Northern Province District Study. 1998.

[29] E.Lahiff, Nkuzi Development Association. Response to the IPLRAD proposals that remain on most important issues unchanged in the final version of LRAD, unpublished. 2000. This has been the main source for all comments on LRAD in this paper.

[30] E. Lahiff. Debating land reform and rural development. Land Reform In South Africa: Is It Meeting The Challenge? Source: www.uwc.ac.za/plaas

[31] South African government budget 2002-3.

[32] H. Bernstein. South Africa’s Agrarian Question: Extreme and Exceptional? 1996.

[33] Ibid.