During the apartheid era, Black South Africans in large numbers were forced to live in overcrowded reserves, which were impoverished, homelands and townships through decentralization. Because of the high level of poverty, people could not afford quality seeds and fertilizers for good harvests. A government initiative known as the National Land Reform programme was established to address the issue of redressing the injustice of forced removals and historical denial to access land that was created by the apartheid policies. The initiative had to ensure security of tenure for rural dwellers, decongest overcrowding and supply of residential and productive land to the poorest section of the rural population, raise income and productivity, build the economy through the provision of support services by generating large scale employment, and increase rural incomes. The international experience of land reform has broadened the issue of injustice and denials to access land by reversing the problems to create solutions. Land reform is a policy and legal understanding to increase access to land by giving poor people ownership rights and ensuring sustainable land use. Most of the objectives of land reform in other countries included improving the agricultural efficiency, distributing land equitable, uplifting the standard of living, reducing poverty, and achieving equitable land redistribution. The occurrence of land redistribution has been part of land reform in many developing countries. From land redistribution, it has been learnt that there should be greater emphasis on supporting productivity and access to input and product markets. On the other hand, land tenure reform aimed at motivating individual land ownership, increasing and protecting peoples land rights, and introducing more security by using effective system of cadastral surveys and title registration. The source of revenue for local governments has been land taxes. Land tax does not discourage investments in land improvements. Although land reform has been unsuccessful at some point, its success has been achieved by addressing the equity in land distribution and upgrading livelihood and raising a number of successful Black agricultural producers. Land dispossession is an ancient issue that still has an effect even in contemporary times. Because of the necessity for land reform to be utilized, it will promote equity as well as efficiency in South Africa. The equitable growth patterns created by land reform shifted income and power to the poor. Land reform promotes efficiency through redistribution of agricultural land to smallholders. Smallholders become more efficient than large holders because they are more responsible for most farming activities. The land reform success in South Africa should be measured against its ability to address equity in land redistribution and livelihood upgrading, reduction in poverty, creation of rural employment, and income generating opportunities. Land restitution programme is concerned with the communities who were victimised by the past racially discriminatory legislation. The programme provides specific compensation to victims of forced removals. The major outstanding issue is the level of compensation to which claimants should be entitled. A programme called tenure reform promotes security of tenure to all citizens of the country and prevents evictions by the state or landowners. One of the aims of the tenure reform programme is to increase tenure security for about six million households. The impact of land reform on the lives of people is that there has been an improvement on the quality of lives. Though within a restricted scale, the agricultural and non-agricultural productions are taking place; and there is better service delivery. Because of excessive bureaucracy and over centralization of the land reform programme, the implementation of the process has been slow. A baseline study of the quality of live of land reform beneficiaries was undertaken in Limpopo Province at Gertrudsburg. The community of Gertrudsburg was forcibly removed from their land in 1963. They lodged a claim to the farm, Ledig 289 LS, in 1995 and succeeded in 2001. Gertrudsburg forms part of the Makhado Municipality in the Vhembe District. The area experiences a dry climate with consistent summer rainfall. Occasionally, summers are very hot while winters are cold. The baseline study of Gertrudsburg has four basic steps that were followed that include determining what to measure, designing the questionnaire, fieldwork and data collection and data analysis. For the baseline study to be successful, important questions had to be answered, and the general information was gathered in a form of questionnaires and fieldwork. Using both qualitative and quantitative approaches did data analysis. The two approaches were used in order to put more emphasis on the data of the quality of life of land reform beneficiaries. Qualitative approach has two phenomena in which one focuses on the natural settings, while the other involves studying the complexity. The quantitative approach was carried out in order to strengthen the importance of the quality of life of land reform beneficiaries. In order for land reform and other aspects such as land redistribution to be implemented, there must be involvement with the government departments, local government, parastatal, and non-government organizations. The outcomes of land reform include reduction in poverty, change in agrarian structure, and increased productivity. The success of the restitution process was achieved through the restoration of more than 887 000 hectares of land to more than 172 00 households. The baseline study showed the presence of poor quality of life in Gertrudsburg. It generally indicated the basic needs of people, which are not yet accessible by others. Success in land reform is enhanced when all stakeholders are involved and when they work closely together. More attention is still needed in order to upgrade the services and facilities in Gertrudsburg. The study generally recommends that for the improvement of the quality of life in Gertrudsburg, the following should be implemented: increment of commitment at national level to post-settlement support through conceptual, fiscal, strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation provisions; increment of the role of district and local municipality; promotion of integrated planning and implementation; introduction of project implementation support team; establishment of a provincial land reform post-settlement implementation strategy; and improvement of inter-departmental communication at project and government level. The results of the baseline study could be used for future evaluation and monitoring the improvement of the quality of life in Gertrudsburg.
Dissertation (M Inst Agrar (Land Development))--University of Pretoria, 2007.