Land ownership in South Africa has long been a source of conflict. The history of forced removals and a racially skewed distribution of land resources have left the new government, which took over in 1994, with a complex and difficult legacy. The new government has developed a land reform programme with three major elements to address the situation of landlessness, tenure insecurity and poverty among black people. The three major elements can be defined as follows: <ul> <li>The redistribution of land to the disadvantaged and poor for productive and residential purposes;</li> <li>Land restitution, which covers restitution of land to those who had been forcefully removed from land after 1913 as a result of racially discriminatory laws and practices and</li> <li>Tenure reform to those whose tenure of land is legally insecure.</li> </ul> The specific purpose of this study is to review the redistribution of land in terms of the implementation of the LRAD (Land Redistribution for Agricultural Development) Sub-programme, which was launched in August 2001. In the first few years of the delivery of LRAD (2001 to 2003), the sub-programme made substantial progress and the DLA (Department of Land Affairs) referred to LRAD as the DLA’s flagship redistribution sub-programme. However, according to academics (Hall, 2003 and 2004; Jacobs, 2003; Wegeriff, 2004 and Lahiff, 2003) and the media (Black Business Quarterly, 2006 and Business Report: Sunday Independent, 2006), the pace of the implementation of LRAD is also slow and the sustainability of many land redistribution projects is poor. The purpose of this study is to review the pace of implementation and the quality of projects transferred through the LRAD Sub-programme in Gauteng Province. Three main factors are identified in this study that contribute to the slow pace of land redistribution in terms of the LRAD Sub-programme. These factors are the bureaucratic processes that government follows to implement LRAD projects, the limited size of the LRAD grants and the formation of group projects. The mentioned critiques and the results of this study also show that there are a variety of factors that have an impact on the sustainability/quality of projects. These factors are: limited financing of projects, lack of start-up capital, lack of agricultural skills, poor design of projects, lack of post-transfer support, group dynamics, crime, and a disregard for environmental factors. To obtain the relevant research information for this study a variety of documents and books regarding land reform and the LRAD Sub-programme were reviewed. Additional information was obtained from the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) and AgriSA with regard to agriculture in Gauteng. Beneficiaries from a sample of 15 LRAD projects and three officials from the Gauteng Provincial Land Reform Office were also interviewed to get their opinions about the pace of implementation of redistribution of projects through the LRAD Sub-programme and also the sustainability of these programmes. The reason for studying land reform in Gauteng is because of its unique features of farming. One of the unique features is the fact that farmland in Gauteng consists mostly of small farms and plots, which are easier for beneficiaries to purchase by means of the limited-size LRAD grants than are big farms in Limpopo, North West, Northern Cape, etc. Other positive features are the good quality of agricultural land, the availability of output markets and supply of inputs. There are also a number of negative factors, which include the facts that 97% of province is urbanised, and that farmland is scarce and expensive. However, a detailed description of the study area is given in section 1.4. Eventually the conclusion was reached that the implementation of LRAD projects in Gauteng is indeed slow because of certain problems in the process of land transfer through the LRAD Sub-programme, the limited LRAD grants compared to the increased land prices and the size of group projects. The mentioned factors that have an impact on the sustainability of LRAD projects are also reviewed through the fieldwork and it has been discovered that it indeed has a big impact on the quality of these projects. The case studies provide a number of recommendations to address the factors impacting on the pace of land redistribution in the province and the factors impacting on sustainability. Some of the recommendations can be implemented by the Gauteng Provincial Land Reform Office itself. The other recommendations will need to be addressed nationally which can then have a positive influence on the delivery and the quality of the implementation of LRAD projects on a national basis as well. Copyright
Dissertation (MInst Agrar)--University of Pretoria, 2009.