A review of land reform in the Matzikama municipal area

Potgieter, Rese (2014-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Land reform is a vital political issue that has been fiercely debated in recent years, especially in South Africa. With the historical background of South Africa consisting of colonialism and political resistance that resulted in racial discrimination, apartheid was forced onto the black citizens by the white government. To correct the injustices of the apartheid regime, the new democratic government had to find a way to redistribute land that was previously owned by citizens previously disposed of their land. The South African government uses land reform to address the social, political and economic issues that this newly democratic country face; however, it has not been implemented very well to date. The aim of this study was to determine the perceptions on the progress and implementation of land reform in the Matzikama Municipality of South Africa. With different stakeholders’ perceptions to be taken into consideration, this study focused on three aspects: (1) the perceptions of commercial farmers in the Matzikama Municipality; (2) the progress of Equity Share Scheme (ESS) projects in the Matzikama Municipality; and (3) the perceptions of the key role players on land reform. The study focused on the commercial farmer members of the Vredendal famers’ association and members of the ESS projects in close proximity to Vredendal. The research objectives of this study were sixfold, namely (1) to examine the literature on land reform to establish an understanding of what land reform is about, what overall objectives it has, what types and approaches exist and how it has been implemented internationally; (2) to investigate policies, legislation and the land reform programme of South Africa and how it has been implemented nationally; (3) to identify the perceptions of the commercial farmers in the Matzikama municipal area on land reform; (4) to determine how successful or unsuccessful land reform projects have been in the Matzikama municipal area by investigating farms that have incorporated it; (5) to identify the perceptions that key role players have on land reform and to use these perceptions to assess the current state of the land reform programme in the study area; and (6) to identify the problems that the land reform programme is experiencing and to make recommendations on how to improve the current state of land reform. The necessary data was collected through a questionnaire survey among commercial farmers and conducting interviews with beneficiaries of ESS projects and key role-players. The data was then analysed by making use of Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and Microsoft Excel. The findings indicate that the commercial farmers have a very negative perception of land reform, the main reason being that they felt the government was targeting white commercial farmers, and some respondents indicated that they felt insecure about land security. As for ESS projects in the Matzikama Municipality, the projects have not being very successful, although the Alfalfa land reform project is still trying to uplift its shareholders. From the data collected from the interviews conducted with the key role players, five problems were identified relating to the current implementation of the land reform programme in the study area in general: (1) the incoherence of the current policy-making approach and the massive gaps between national and local stakeholders in the current decision-making approach; (2) the slow acquisition process for agricultural land due to cumbersome bureaucracy; (3) the lack of partnership and integration between government departments, the private sector and beneficiaries; (4) the lack of government support, which has contributed to the poor success rate of land reform projects; and (5) the beneficiaries’ inexperience and lack of skills concerning farming. To address the problems identified with the current implementation of the land reform programme in South Africa, it is recommended that the government reassesses the approach it has been using to try to redistribute agricultural land. This can be done by ensuring that officials dealing with land reform have the necessary skills and experience to implement the strategies. The government should also consider a grassroots approach when identifying land for redistribution by making use of local communities. Funding from the government is also crucial and should be allocated appropriately. Lastly, the government should invest in programmes that focus on educating emerging farmers on managing a commercial farm successfully.

AFRIKKANSE OPSOMMING: Grondhervorming is 'n belangrike politieke kwessie waaroor daar die afgelope paar jaar heftig gedebatteer word, veral in Suid-Afrika. Met die geskiedkundige agtergrond van Suid-Afrika, bestaande uit kolonialisme en politieke weerstand wat gelei het tot rasse diskriminasie, is apartheid deur die wit regering afgedwing op swart burgers. Om die ongeregtighede van apartheid reg te stel, moes die nuwe demokratiese regering 'n manier vind om grond te herverdeel aan die voorheen benadeelde burgers wat voor apartheid die grond besit het. Die Suid-Afrikaanse regering gebruik grondhervorming om die sosiale, politieke en ekonomiese kwessies wat hierdie nuwe demokratiese land in die gesig staar, aan te spreek, maar dit word nie so goed geïmplementeer as wat die voorheen benadeelde burgers verwag het nie. Die doel van hierdie studie was om die persepsies oor die vordering met en implementering van die grondhervormingsprogram in die Matzikama Munisipaliteit van Suid-Afrika te bepaal. Met verskillende belanghebbendes se persepsies wat in ag geneem moet word, het hierdie studie gefokus op drie standpunte: (1) die persepsies van kommersiële boere in die Matzikama Munisipaliteit; (2) die vordering van Gedeelde-eienaarskapskema (ESS – Equity Share Scheme) projekte in die Matzikama Munisipaliteit, en (3) die sleutel rolspelers se persepsie oor grondhervorming. Die studie het gefokus op die kommersiële boere wat lid was van die Vredendal Boerevereniging en lede van die AWS projekte in die nabyheid van Vredendal. Daar was ses doelwitte vir hierdie studie, naamlik (1) om die literatuur oor grondhervorming te ondersoek om 'n begrip te bekom van wat grondhervorming is, watter algemene doelstellings dit het, watter tipe grondhervormng en benaderings bestaan, en om vas te stel hoe grondhervorming op ’n internasionale vlak geïmplementeer word; (2) om ondersoek in te stel oor die beleide, wetgewing en grondhervormingsprogram van Suid-Afrika en hoe dit op die nasionale vlak geïmplementeer word; (3) om die persepsies van die kommersiële boere in die Matzikama Munisipale gebied oor grondhervorming te identifiseer; (4) om te bepaal hoe suksesvol of onsuksesvol grondhervormingsprojekte in die Matzikama Munisipale area is deur ondersoek in te stel op plase wat AWS projekte begin het, (5) die persepsies wat belangrike rolspelers oor grondhervorming het, te identifiseer en hierdie persepsies te gebruik om die huidige toestand van die grondhervormingsprogram in Suid-Afrika te bepaal, en (6) die probleme wat die grondhervormingsprogram ondervind te identifiseer en aanbevelings te maak oor hoe om die huidige stand van grondhervorming in Suid-Afrika te verbeter. Deur die verspreiding van vraelyste onder die kommersiële boere en deur onderhoude met begunstigdes van AWS projekte en sleutel rolspelers te voer, is die noodsaaklike data ingesamel, waarna dit ontleed is deur gebruik te maak van die Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) en Microsoft Excel. Daar is bevind dat die kommersiële boere ’n baie negatiewe persepsie oor grondhervorming het. Die hoof rede hiervoor is dat hulle voel die regering teiken wit kommersiële boere en sommige respondente het aangedui dat hulle onseker voel oor grondsekuriteit. Die AWS-projekte was nog nie regtig suksesvol in die Matzikama Munisipaliteit nie, maar die Alfalfa grondhervormingsprojek bestaan nog en probeer om die aandeelhouers op te hef. Uit die data wat deur die onderhoude met die sleutel rolspelers versamel is, is vyf probleme met die huidige implementering van die grondhervormingsprogram van Suid-Afrika geïdentifiseer: (1) die onsamehangendheid van die huidige benadering tot beleidskepping en die massiewe gapings tussen die nasionale en plaaslike belanghebbendes wat die huidige besluitnemingsbenadering aanbetref, (2) die stadige verkrygingsproses van landbougrond weens omslagtige burokrasie; (3) die gebrek aan vennootskappe en integrasie tussen regeringsdepartemente, die private sektor en die begunstigdes van grondhervorming; (4) die gebrek aan ondersteun van die regering, wat bydra tot die swak slaagsyfer van grondhervormingsprojekte, en (5) die gebrek aan begunstigdes met ervaring en vaardighede met betrekking tot die landbou. Om die probleme met die huidige implementering van die grondhervormingsprogram in Suid-Afrika aan te spreek, word dit aanbeveel dat die regering die benadering wat hulle gebruik om doe herverdeling van landbougrond te finaliseer, herevalueer. Dit kan gedoen word deur te verseker dat amptenare wat met grondhervorming werk die noodsaaklike vaardighede en ondervinding het om die nodige strategieë te implementeer. Die regering moet ook oorweeg om met behulp van die plaaslike gemeentskap grond te indentifiseer wat beskikbaar is vir herverdeling. Befondsing van die regering is ook van kardinale belang en moet toepaslik toegeken word. Laastens moet die regering belê in programme wat fokus op die opvoeding van opkomende boere wat hulle kan in staat stel om ’n suksesvolle kommersiële boere te word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96142
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