5. South Africa and the Quest for Land Reform: Implications for Integrative Food Security and Nation-Building

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

The land question has become central to both the apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa. Apartheid describes a system of government with unjust laws and policies of radical racial segregation in South Africa that began in 1948 and ended in 1994. In the Afrikaans language, apartheid means ‘apartness’. The term ‘land question’ borders on the system of land ownership in a given area such as a country, community, or society. It is well documented that following the conquest of Africa (in the nineteenth century) and its subsequent colonisation by Europeans (in the twentieth century), the colonial governments dictated land ownership and land use (Rugege, 2004). The chapter begins with an overview of the major concepts related to the topic in discussion, presents a historical context of land issues in contemporary South Africa, and evaluates the government’s land reform policies since the colonial dispensation. The chapter proceeds to discuss the attempts made by the ANC led government, post-1994, regarding land reforms as one of the key policy instruments to address past injustices, ensure food security and promote the developmental agenda of South Africa.