Contested Land Tenure Reform in South Africa: The Namaqualand Experience

"The legacy of apartheid land policy in South Africa remains one of the most conspicuous manifestations of past injustices. To correct this legacy, diverse land reform efforts have centred on the constitutional mandate for land restitution, redistribution and tenure reform.The Trancraa process represents a small but significant investment by government, but the time, funding and institutional support required to carry out effective tenure reform was seriously underestimated. Furthermore, the Act and implementation process did not address the constitutional right to 'comparable redress', and did not include land development or guarantees of future institutional support. Strengthened tenure rights appear vulnerable if isolated from training, finance and integrated development initiatives. A neoliberal assumption that 'property rights' and 'markets' by themselves will transform rural areas where people are in deep crisis due to unemployment, HIV/Aids, corruption and food insecurity appears ill-founded and dangerous."