Reforming Land and Resource Use in South Africa: Impact on Livelihoods

This book debates the emergent proprieties of rural and peri-urban South Africa since land and agrarian reforms were initiated after the transition to democracy in 1994. It explores how these reforms have broadened options for the use of land and natural resources. Reform-minded policies in South Africa have assumed that if access to land and other natural resources is less problematic, the use of these resources would be intensified which in turn would alter the structure and dynamic of rural and urban poverty. Reforming Land and Resource Use in South Africa examines in detail, and from several disciplinary perspectives, whether and how this has occurred, and if not, why not. A key argument that this collection pursues is whether land reform has resulted in transformed use of natural (i.e. land, crops, cattle, rangeland, wild products etc.) and other strategic resources (labour, knowledge, institutions, networks etc.), and the value communities and household place on them. The contributions explore a combination of new or alternative meanings of land, including a look beyond crops and cattle per se to include the collection and selling of wild products, as well as a discussion of how land for agriculture has become redefined by land reform beneficiaries as urban land, for settlement and urban employment opportunities, in addition to urban-based agricultural activities. Unlike most analyses and commentaries on land reform, this book pursues an analysis of land reform dynamics at various levels of aggregation. National and regional level analyses of poverty and the ramifications of the property clause are combined with analyses at disaggregate levels such as the land reform project or village. The book will be of interest to both researchers and policy makers with an interest in rural development and social change.