News & events


18 September 2017

Land Reform: A Broken Ladder

Leslie Bank and Tim Hart

Rural land reform is a political lightning rod in South Africa. Much of President Jacob Zuma’s populist capital has been built on the back of the promise of land restitution that has been held out to the poor in the countryside.

However, rural land matters enormously, not just as political territory, but also as a vital national economic resource. The rains of late 2016 and 2017 drove economic recovery, leading, against the odds, to  2.5% growth in GDP in the second quarter of this year.

In this regard, the ANC recognises that agrarian productivity is critical to national food security, business confidence and foreign earnings and investment.

So it is a matter of great concern that, as a recent two-day workshop on national land hunger and needs held  by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) revealed,  the government’s land reform programme appears to be failing to promote the widespread productive use of land to provide household food security and strengthen agricultural markets.

Leslie Bank and Tim Hart

Related Articles