Rights to Land: A guide to tenure upgrading and restitution in South Africa
WILLIAM BEINART, PETER DELIUS AND MICHELLE HAY
The issue of land rights is an ongoing and complex topic of debate for South Africans. Rights to Land comes at a time when land redistribution by government is underway. This book seeks to understand the issues around land rights and distribution of land in South Africa and proposes that new policies and processes should be developed and adopted.
It further provides an analysis of what went so wrong, and warns that a new phase of restitution may ignite conflicting ethnic claims and facilitate elite capture of land and rural resources. While there are no quick fixes, the first phase of restitution should be completed and the policy then curtailed. The book argues that land ownership and administration is important to rural democracy and that this should not be placed under the control of traditionalist intermediaries.
Land restitution, initiated in 1994, was an important response to the injustices of the apartheid era. But it was intended as a limited and short-term process – initially to be completed in five years. It may continue for decades, creating uncertainty and undermining investment into agriculture.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
William Beinart retired from the University of Oxford in 2015, where he was Director of the African Studies Centre and a fellow of St Antony’s College. He has researched and written extensively on South African rural issues and environmental history. His books include The Rise of Conservation in South Africa (2003), Environment and Empire (with Lotte Hughes, 2007), Prickly Pear: The Social History of a Plant in South Africa (with Luvuyo Wotshela, 2011), and African Local Knowledge and Livestock Health (with Karen Brown, 2013). He has worked on land reform planning and as an expert witness in land restitution cases.
GENRE Current Affairs/Politics
RIGHTS World Rights
RELEASE November 2017
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