Land Reform 101 - what you need to know

Parliament has passed a resolution to amend the Constitution and allow expropriation without compensation.

The decision has sparked debate, outrage and even confusion as political parties, citizens, white farmers and commentators anticipate either the moment of salvation or disaster.

Question being bandied about are: What is land reform? How has land restitution evolved since 1994? What does land restitution mean and; What is willing buyer, willing seller and why did it fail?

Professor Ruth Hall, from the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (Plaas) at the University of the Western Cape speaks to Eusebius McKaiser to give answers on some commonly asked questions on expropriation of land without compensation.

READ: 'King is treating land as his own private property and the residents as tenants'

She says land reform, typically across history, has been embarked on in times of major political change and the ideas of land reform have been to change the relationships between those who own and don't own property. South Africa's land reform is a very unusual one as it has been so market friendly.

READ: It is legal to expropriate land without compensation?

Land reform typically take one of two kinds, either there are re-distributive land reforms, so we say, ok we have a major problem with inequality between those who own property and those who don't, and we want to reduce inequality, so we have a programme of redistributing land.

Professor Ruth Hall, Plaas

Second type of land reform is where you say the problem is not so much the distribution, but it's the question of what type of rights people have to property, so instants across most of Africa only about 10% of agricultural land is privately titled.

Professor Ruth Hall, Plaas

She said restitution is different from the rest of land reform because restitution on not only about land, it's about providing redress for a specific historical grievance. This in many ways is more linked to the issue of transitional justice reconciliation. She says at the same time restitution is meant to provide a tangible benefit economically in terms of transferring assets and reducing inequality and poverty.

Listen below to the full insightful interview on land:


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by NEWSROOM AI

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