The Impact of Land Restitution and Land Reform on Livelihoods

"This thematic paper investigates emerging trends evident in the limited literature available on the impact of land restitution on livelihoods, and suggests ways of thinking about, and planning for, livelihoods. The paper has a two-fold emphasis: its primary focus is on rural restitution claims where land has been restored, but it also addresses rural land reform more generally. Where land ownership has been transferred to land reform beneficiaries, similar patterns and challenges may arise, regardless of whether the land was acquired through the redistribution or the restitution route. The analysis is based on a synthesis of available quantitative and qualitative sources, including a relatively small but growing body of qualitative case studies.The focus of this paper, therefore, is on the design and set-up of projects, the kinds of livelihood opportunities envisaged in business plans, how these are supported financially and institutionally, and the dynamics that ensue. On this basis, the paper draws lessons about how post-settlement support impacts on the livelihood potential of land reform projects and recommends ways in which such support can be optimised for maximum livelihood benefits."