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HSRC Press :: The Land Question in South Africa

The Land Question in South Africa
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The Land Question in South Africa

The challenge of transformation and redistribution

Lungisile Ntsebeza, Ruth Hall (eds)

Format210mm x 148mm
ISBN 100-7969-2163-6
ISBN 13978-07969-2163-5
Publish Year2007
DescriptionRelated ProductsEmail To A FriendProduct RatingCustomer Reviews

The Land Question in South Africa :: The challenge of transformation and redistributionFree DownloadThe Land Question in South Africa :: The challenge of transformation and redistribution


The extent to which indigenous people were dispossessed of their land by whites in South Africa under colonial rule and apartheid has no parallels on the African continent.

Since the advent of democracy in 1994, issues at the heart of the land question in South Africa are how to reverse this phenomenon and how a large-scale redistribution of land can contribute to the transformation of the economy and the reduction of poverty, both rural and urban. The Land Question in South Africa debates these issues against the backdrop of a land reform programme that made limited headway in the first decade of South Africa’s democracy. The book offers a robust assessment of that programme and raises critical questions for its future.

Edited by Ntsebeza and Hall, the volume includes contributions by leading scholars and activists such as Mercia Andrews, Henry Bernstein, Ben Cousins, Sam Moyo, and Cherryl Walker, and government and World Bank officials such as Glen Sonwabo Thomas, Rogier van den Brink and Hans Binswanger. This book is bound to have wide appeal among activists and students, as well as academics, researchers and policymakers.


Lungisile Ntsebeza and Ruth Hall

Part one: Regional context and theoretical considerations

2.Agrarian questions of capital and labour: some theory about land reform (and a periodisation)
Henry Bernstein

The3. land question in southern Africa: a comparative review
Sam Moyo

Part two: Perspectives on existing policy and new directions for the future

4.Transforming rural South Africa? Taking stock of land reform
Ruth Hall

5.Land redistribution in South Africa: the property clause revisited
Lungisile Ntsebeza

6.Redistributive land reform: for what and for whom?
Cherryl Walker

7.Agricultural land redistribution in South Africa: towards accelerated implementation
Rogier van den Brink, Glen Thomas and Hans Binswanger

8.Struggling for a life in dignity
Mercia Andrews

9.Agrarian reform and the ‘two economies’: transforming South Africa’s countryside
Ben Cousins

About the Author/s

Lungisile Ntsebeza is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Cape Town and a Chief Research Specialist in the Democracy & Governance research programme of the HSRC. Since 1995 he has focused on the South African land reform programme and democratisation in rural South Africa. He is currently working on agrarian movements in South Africa, and on land and poverty.

Ruth Hall is a researcher at the Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at the University of the Western Cape, where she is involved in research and policy engagement on land redistribution, land restitution and farm dweller tenure policy. She was previously Senior Researcher at the Centre for Rural Legal Studies in Stellenbosch.


"This book is not only timely, but also a necessary intervention for it enables land to be considered in the national debate on democracy, development and poverty alleviation. A must-read for all who are concerned about the future of South Africa."
Professor Adam Habib, Executive Director: Democracy & governance research programme, HSRC

"This collection is especially timely and valuable, following the 2005 Land Summit in South Africa. It provides a wonderfully rich mix of the ingredients needed for the rethink about land reform. An indispensable toolbox for struggles ahead."
Professor Lionel Cliffe, Emeritus Professor, University of Leeds, UK

"This compilation brings together a wealth of experience on land issues. The diversity of contributors has propelled the text beyond the contemporary discussion around land reform in South Africa."
Ms Sue Mbaya, Director: Southern African Regional Poverty Network

Click on the links below to read the reviews:

Media coverage: The Land Question / Mail & Guardian book supplement 22 Sept 2006



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