Land Reform in South Africa: is it meeting the Challenge?

September 2001
Edward Lahiff (PLAAS Policy Brief 1)

Focuses on tenure reform (as a necessary first step); securing rights for farmworkers and labour tenants; slow progress and key challenges in restitution; redistribution; what is to be done? Offers an overview of the key challenges facing land reform and suggests a number of ways in which the current reform programme can be accelerated to fight poverty and inequality. Argues there is urgent need for a comprehensive, transparent, participatory process and for widespread public debate, especially in the light of events in Zimbabwe. Also a need to revisit fundamentals, for a clear and coherent vision, and a more interventionist approach by the state, as the market alone cannot deliver land in the places, at the scale or price required for a major national programme of transformation.