BOOKS| Why land reform has been such a failure in South Africa

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Mother and child in their home after the destruction of its shelter by officials of the Western Cape Development Board Crossroads, Cape Town, 11 October 1984. (David Goldblatt/ Goodman Gallery)
Mother and child in their home after the destruction of its shelter by officials of the Western Cape Development Board Crossroads, Cape Town, 11 October 1984. (David Goldblatt/ Goodman Gallery)

Why has land reform been such a failure in South Africa? Will expropriation without compensation solve the problem? What can be done to get the land programme back on track?

Published by Penguin Random House, Land Matters by Tembeka Ngcukaitobi tackles the past, present and future of the land question in South Africa. Going back in history, he shows how Africans’ communal systems of land ownership were used by colonial rulers to deny that Africans owned the land at all. He explores the effects of the Land Acts, Bantustans and forced removals. And he evaluates the ANC’s policies on land throughout the struggle years, during the negotiations of the 1990s, and in government. Below is an excerpt.

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