“Interested outsiders have often reflected on why South Africa’s complex land reform programme failed to meet the high expectations of the early 1990s. Landmarked provides by far and away the most insightful explanation for this. It is a profound, subtle and nuanced study—and because of that might well irritate those, on both left and right, who prefer to remain in their blinkered comfort zones.”
“(Landmarked) juxtaposes and interrelates the three elements and perspectives: emotive personal memories and indelible images of dispossession; a planner’s account of the mechanisms and frustrations of restitution; and the evaluation of the record.”
African Studies Review
“This is a highly readable and deeply reflective personal assessment.…Landmarked is most certainly not a dry, academic text and this reviewer would recommend this book to anyone who wants to approach the study of land restitution without any prior, detailed knowledge of South Africa’s recent history or the politics and economics of loss and restoration of land.”
Journal of Southern African History
“This well-written text vividly exposes the tragedy that was South African apartheid and so, too, the resilience of its victims. Summing Up: Highly recommended.”
The year 2008 is the deadline set by President Mbeki for the finalization of all land claims by people who were dispossessed under the apartheid and previous white governments. Although most experts agree this is an impossible deadline, it does provide a significant political moment for reflection on the ANC government’s program of land restitution since the end of apartheid.
Land reform (and land restitution within that) remains a highly charged issue in South Africa, one that deserves more in–depth analysis. Drawing on her experience as Rural Land Claims Commissioner in KwaZulu–Natal from 1995 to 2000, Professor Cherryl Walker provides a multilayered account of land reform in South Africa, one that covers general critical commentary, detailed case material, and personal narrative. She explores the master narrative of loss and restoration, which has been fundamental in shaping the restitution program; offers a critical overview of the achievements of the program as a whole; and discusses what she calls the “non–programmatic limits to land reform,” including urbanization, environmental constraints and the impact of HIV/AIDS.
Cherryl Walker is a professor and the head of the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at the University of Stellenbosch. She was the Regional Land Claims Commissioner in KwaZulu–Natal from 1995 to 2000. She is the author of Women and Resistance in South Africa. More info →
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Land tenure rights are a burning issue in South Africa, as in Africa more widely. Land, Power, and Custom explores the implications of the controversial 2004 Communal Land Rights Act, criticized for reinforcing the apartheid power structure and ignoring the interests of the common people.
Land is a significant and controversial topic in South Africa. Addressing the land claims of those dispossessed in the past has proved to be a demanding, multidimensional process. In many respects the land restitution program that was launched as part of the county’s transition to democracy in 1994 has failed to meet expectations, with ordinary citizens, policymakers, and analysts questioning not only its progress but also its outcomes and parameters.
In the 1870s, facing cultural extinction and the death of their language, several San men and women told their stories to two pioneering colonial scholars in Cape Town, Wilhelm Bleek and Lucy Lloyd. The narratives of these San—or Bushmen—were of the land, the rain, the history of the first people, and the origin of the moon and stars.
This book looks at the microfoundations of poverty in the developing world and in particular those present in property rights. The local institutions that govern land access are fundamental in affecting the distribution of wealth in a society. Property rights matter because they affect political development and economic growth. Development economists and policy makers often work on the assumption that property rights evolve from collective to more specified systems.