EXTRACT | Tembeka Ngcukaitobi's 'Land Matters: South Africa's failed land reforms and the road ahead'

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The cover for 'Land Matters' (Supplied)
The cover for 'Land Matters' (Supplied)

In his latest book entitled 'Land Matters,' 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 landownership were used by colonial rulers to deny that Africans owned the land at all. In 'Land Matters', Ngcukaitobi unpacks the government’s achievements and failures in land redistribution, restitution and tenure reform, and makes suggestions for what needs to be done in future. 

What is often forgotten is that the present formulation of the Constitution did not result from a consensus.

It was heavily contested even at the time it was adopted. The ANC’s negotiating position, reflected in its 1991 Draft Bill of Rights, was firm on the right to own property: ‘All men and women and lawfully constituted bodies are entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of their possessions, including the right to acquire, own, or dispose of property in any part of the country without distinction based on race, colour, language, gender, or creed.’

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