The Contested Status of ‘Communal Land Tenure’ in South Africa

May 2015
PLAAS Rural Status Report 3 (Tara Weinberg)

Focuses on communal tenure reform developments (or lack thereof), referring to law, policy and practice in rural areas in South Africa. Shows that communal land tenure is not in a healthy state and discusses the following recent laws and policies that are symptoms of this ill health: the Communal Land Rights Act (struck down by the Constitutional Court); the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Act (passed in 2003); and the 2014 Communal Land Tenure ‘wagon wheel’ policy (currently in place). Also explores the historical roots of the insecurity of tenure with which millions of South Africans struggle, diagnoses some of the causes of the failures of communal land tenure reform and suggests some alternatives that might provide the remedies needed.