In 1996, the South African government embarked on a process of land reform. The land reform programme has been driven by three pillars, namely: (i) Land Restitution, (ii) Land Tenure Reform and (iii) Land Redistribution. The two first pillars of land reform, as well as the first sub-programme (The SLAG) of the Land Redistribution programme delivered disappointing results. By December 2004, eight years since the programme was introduced, land reform had only transferred an area of 3.4% of white commercial agricultural land to Blacks, against a set target of 30% by 2014. Other disappointing results include: <ul> <li> Over-congestion of crowds on small sections of land</li> <li> Providing cash compensation as opposed to land itself</li> <li> Failure to ensure productivity among transferred farms</li> </ul> In 2001, Government introduced a new sub-programme under the Redistribution programme, called Land Redistribution for Agricultural Development (LRAD). This programme was regarded as a flagship programme for the DLA; firstly for its flexible funding structure; secondly, for its focus on commercially orientated agricultural projects; and thirdly, for its perceived capacity to transfer land at a higher pace. Although the LRAD belonged to the Department of Land Affairs (now called the Department of Rural Development and Land Affair), in the initial stage of the programme, three institutions became involved in its implementation, namely: The Land and Agricultural Development of South Africa (referred to as the Land Bank), the provincial departments of Land Affairs, as well as the provincial departments of Agriculture. Just four years after its inception the LRAD programme received negative media coverage and this included the following: <ul> <li> The collapse and failure of some of LRAD projects;</li> <li> Lack of productivity among some of the already transferred LRAD projects;</li> <li> Conflict among LRAD beneficiaries, leading to the squandering and misappropriation of government resources on farms; <li> Problems of budget deficit; and the</li> <li> Collapse of the relationship between the Land Bank and the DLA.</li> </ul> The above signalled potential elements of failure on the part of LRAD programme. There is, however, a reality that the reasons for failure are not well-understood and that a study to analyse this in detail could assist in streamlining the delivery of this programme. The objectives of the study are threefold: <ul> <li> Firstly; as in line with the objectives of LRAD, to investigate if the already transferred LRAD farms are productive;</li> <li> Secondly; to establish the factors hampering productivity on the transferred farms; and</li> <li> Thirdly; by using the initial involvement of the Land Bank as a control, to assess if LRAD is well-placed within the DLA.</li> </ul> Two sets of methodologies have been used. The first method involved collecting files and records from the DLA and the Land Bank, and performing financial and descriptive analyses on LRAD beneficiaries. In the second approach, a survey was conducted among a sample of transferred LRAD farms, in order to assess the level of productivity on the farms, as well as to interview beneficiaries with regard to the challenges they are facing on the farms. The study established the main factors hampering productivity on the farms. Although many factors have been cited as factors hampering productivity, beneficiaries listed the following as the three most important factors hampering productivity on the farms: <ul> <li> Insufficient or no tractors and implements (16 projects out of 37, constituting 43%)</li> <li> Conflict among members (12 projects, 32%)</li> <li> Poor coordination between the DLA and the Land Bank (19 projects, 51%)</li> </ul> Comparison between the Land Bank and the DLA clients, points out that those of the Land Bank are performing better than those of the DLA. Financial and descriptive analysis carried out among 308 LRAD cases identified the Land Bank loan as an important proportion of funding towards the purchase of land. LRAD in its current institutional design (structure and policy) is not suitable for the poor. The objectives of the LRAD programme are too many where a significant number of them appear irrelevant. These objectives should be reviewed. While the DLA does not have the right capacity (experienced personnel, ITC systems for monitoring and evaluations, infrastructure etc) to run with LRAD, the Land Bank has been found to be unsuitable as its policies discriminates against the poor. Both the policies (selection and qualifying criteria, early and after care institutional support, own contribution and security, etc.) and implementation strategies of the Land Bank and the DLA must be reviewed to reflect a strategic intend that is geared towards sustaining agricultural development among black emerging farmers in South Africa.