A Perspective on the State of the South African Land Reform Programme: Achievements and Challenges

By Herman Van der Elst.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Achieving a situation of sustainable development is a key envisaged outcome of service delivery and transformation for all South African Government departments. Pro-active land reform commenced with the establishment of the Department of Land Affairs (DLA) after 1994. In terms of set objectives the aim of land reform is firstly to transfer 30% of all arable land to former owners or previously disadvantaged communities and individuals by 2015. A second, and equally important objective, is to facilitate sustainable support to the beneficiaries. Against this contextual background it is the purpose of this article to establish how far the DLA has progressed in terms of achieving its set objectives. The article provides a critical overview of the objectives, progress, strong points and weaknesses of the land reform programme. An emphasis is however placed on the weaknesses in the programme. It is these weaknesses that needs to be dealt with as a matter of urgency if a situation of sustainable development is to be achieved within a reasonable timeframe. The eventual outcome of the article would be to pinpoint specific problems and to provide guidelines on how to overcome them in order to ensure more effective land reform.

Keywords: South African Land Reform Programme, Ineffective Post-Settlement Support, Political Management, Administrative Management, Coordination and Participation, Multidimentional Approach, Legislation

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 4, Issue 5, pp.173-184. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.144MB).

Dr. Herman Van der Elst

Senior Lecturer and Subject Head, Political Sciences, School of Basic Sciences, North-West University, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa

Herman van der Elst is a Senior Lecturer and subject head of Political Sciences at the Vaal Triangle campus of the NWU. He also serves as a member of the Transformation Committee on the Vaal Triangle campus. He completed a Mastersdegree in International Politics at the University of Pretoria (UP)in 2000 and a Ph.D in Public Mangement and Administration in 2007 at the Potchefstroom campus of the NWU. In this regard a part of his research was done at the Vrije Universiteit van Amsterdam (VU). He specialises in land reform, with a specific focus on post-settlement support in SA. Other interests are International relations and Political Development in Africa.


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