4. Urbanization, Poverty and the Paradox of Land Reform in South Africa

Author: Adeoye Akinola
Book Title: The New Political Economy of Land Reform in South Africa in Adeoye Akinola, Irrshad Kaseeram and Nokukhanya Jili (eds.)
Publisher and Date: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020.

A decisive impact of globalization and the subsequent exportation of civilization to Africa were the emergence of cities, followed by the massive emigration of rural dwellers into urban centres. This has engendered contradictions in the use of land and land-related issues in South Africa Across Africa, the complexity in the urban land use and ownership persists because of the rate at which African states are urbanizing, the ‘distortionist’ legacy of colonialism, as well the inability of post- colonial states to resolve the land conflict (Mandisa, 2015). Urbanization continues to be on the rise in both developed and developing countries, and the percentage of the global urban population is projected to increase to about 57% by 2050, from the 47% that was recorded in 2000 (AFDB, 2012). Furthermore, Africa has the highest urban growth rate since the 2000s at 3.5% per annum, which will continue at the same rate till 2050.