TRANCRAA and Communcal Land Rights: Lessons from Namaqualand

"The Transformation of Certain Rural Areas Act, Act 94 of 1998 (TRANCRAA) is the first comprehensive legislation to reform communal land tenure in South Africa. It aims to transfer land in 23 former coloured rural areas to residents or accountable local institutions. The TRANCRAA process in Namaqualand holds lessons for wider processes of tenure reform, including the implementation of the proposed Communal Land Rights Act. This policy brief argues that the time, funding and institutional support required to carry out tenure reform have been seriously under-estimated, and that reformed tenure rights are ineffective and vulnerable if isolated from other entitlements such as training, finance and integrated development initiatives. A neo-liberal assumption that 'property rights' and 'markets' by themselves will transform rural areas where people are in deep crisis due to unemployment, corruption, food insecurity and HIV/Aids is ill-founded and dangerous."