Land reform fiasco should keep us all awake at night, not just failing farmers

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South Africa’s land reform efforts lack a focus on struggling farmers, say a Rhodes University professor and his PhD student. Monty Roodt and Mzingaye Xaba have applied their minds to why South Africa’s land reform programme isn’t working.

In a nutshell, their research confirms that the government is putting little to no effort into helping the beneficiaries of land reform programmes to run their farms. Incentives focus on large-scale commercial operations and there is much more than meets the eye to farming than running the equivalent of a domestic vegetable patch and taking care of a few animals.

Their findings are a match for what happened in Zimbabwe; after Robert Mugabe took land away from its white occupants, he failed to help the new black incumbents run the farms as their predecessors had.

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