Does land redistribution in southern Africa achieve poverty reduction and livelihood improvement objectives?

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Further Resources

Land Reform and Sustainable Livelihoods in the Eastern Cape - Draft (Edward Lahiff)

The Eastern Cape is one of nine provinces in South Africa, located in the south-east of the country along the Indian Ocean seaboard. The area was a site of prolonged struggle between native peoples, principally Xhosa-speakers, and European colonists – both Dutch/Afrikaners and British – throughout the eighteen and nineteenth centuries, which saw the defeat and subjugation of the African chieftaincies and the loss of the majority of territory to white settlers.

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Smallholder Agriculture and Land Reform in South Africa (Edward Lahiff & Ben Cousins)

How can land reform contribute to a revitalisation of smallholder agriculture in Southern Africa? This question remains important despite negative perceptions of land reformas a result of the impact of Zimbabwe’s “fast-track” resettlement programme on agricultural production. This article focuses mainly on South Africa, where a highly unequal distribution of land coexists with deep rural poverty, but dominant narratives of the efficiency of largescale agriculture exert a stranglehold on rural policy (cf Toulmin and Guèye, this IDS Bulletin for West Africa).

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Land reform in Namibia: A Bibliography (Wolfgang Werner with inputs from Robin Sherbourne)

Note: List of references (includes research specifically on land reform in Namibia published on or after 1990 excludes newspaper and magazine articles).

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The Politics of Land Reform in Southern Africa (Edward Lahiff)

This paper looks at the politics of land in Southern Africa, and more specifically at the policies of land reform being pursued by states in the region. It is based on research undertaken in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa as part of the Sustainable Livelihoods in South Africa (SLSA) project 1.

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Changes in the livestock sector in Zimbabwe following land reform: The case of Masvingo Province (Mavedzenge, B.Z., Mahenehene, J., Murimbarimba, F., Scoones, I and Wolmer, W.)

Major changes have occurred in the livestock sector in Zimbabwe in the last few years. There have been significant shifts in ownership, use and management of livestock, with implications for disease management, marketing and production. This workshop discussed a report which offers an assessment of these changes in one province – Masvingo – based on a series of local level case studies. The report asks, given the changes that have occurred, what makes sense in terms of practical and policy support to allow the livestock sector in Masvingo province and beyond to contribute to rural livelihoods and the national economy.

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Recent Developments in Land Issues in Namibia (Wolfgang Werner)

Land reform in Namibia comprises three main components: (i) redistributive land reform; (ii) tenure reform; and (iii) the development of unused land in non-freehold or communal areas. It remains a moot point whether the Affirmative Action Loan Scheme (AALS) should be regarded as being part of wider land reform or not. The AALS encourages previously disadvantaged Namibians to buy commercial agricultural land through the provision of subsidised loans administered by Agribank. In a sense, therefore, the Scheme widens access for previously disadvantaged Namibians, albeit not the poorest of the poor, to freehold land held primarily by white owners.

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Transboundary conservation: the politics of ecological integrity in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (William Wolmer)

Recent years have witnessed the emergence of an ostensibly surprising coalition of interests around the notion of Transboundary Natural Resource Management (TBNRM) in Southern Africa. Deep green ‘bioregionalists’, conservation biologists and neoliberal development advocates have found common cause in espousing the reestablishment of ecological integrity across ‘artificial’ frontiers and administrative boundaries. This concept has impacts far beyond the realms of biodiversity rotection and ‘natural resource management’. It is bound up with regional debates on national sovereignty, land reform and poverty alleviation. This paper explores the ideological, political and economic rationales for TBNRM with particular reference to Zimbabwe’s involvement in the flagship Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park initiative spanning Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mozambique. It investigates the competing agendas, potential impacts and points of conflict surrounding the initiative at global, national and local levels, and explores the potential impacts on agrarian livelihoods.

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HSRC Working Paper - Michael Aliber, Maxine Reitzes and Marlene Roefs

The purpose of this study is to shed light on people’s aspirations and expectations in respect of redistributive land reform, as well as their general, less personal, attitudes as to what land reform means for South Africa. It thus seeks to inform the debate about land reform and land reform policy in a particular way, e.g. not assessing delivery performance relative to targets, nor by assessing its impact on those who have directly benefited from land reform, but rather by clarifying the targets themselves, where targets are understood in both a narrow and broad sense. As such, the study seeks to go back to more fundamental questions: who wants land reform, what do they want it for, and what might be land reform’s contribution to national goals such as development and reconciliation?

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The Impact of HIV/AIDS on Land Rights: Perspectives from Kenya - Michael Aliber and Cherryl Walker

The study examined the impact of HIV/AIDS on land tenure in rural Kenya. The study found fewer examples of dispossession of widows’ and orphans’ land rights than had been anticipated in light of the existing literature and anecdotal accounts, and some evidence that Kenya’s statutory tenure system, notwithstanding its problems, can protect vulnerable individuals from tenure loss. This is not to diminish the social and economic costs of HIV/AIDS, but to caution against focusing on HIV/AIDS as the major threat to tenure security. Where HIV/AIDS does aggravate tenure insecurity, it is due to the conjunction of population pressure, stigmatization, and gendered power relations.

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