Land reform in South Africa is sinking. Can it be saved?

May 2016
Ben Cousins (PLAAS, University of the Western Cape), for the Nelson Mandela Foundation

The author looks at the past 22 years of land reform in South Africa. What is going wrong in South Africa’s post-apartheid land reform programme, and how can its failings be addressed? 22 years after the transition to democracy and the commencement of land reform, there is a great deal of lived experience to reflect upon and a rich literature to draw on. He offers a diagnosis of failures, suggest a new narrative for land reform, and offers some provocations around alternative policies. Argues that the logic of land reform as a whole needs to be re-thought, rather than merely tinkering with details.