Ubuntu in a land reform context : opportunities and challenges

Dyantyi, Inga (2021-03)

Thesis

Thesis (LLM)--Stellenbosch University, 2021.

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: It is common cause that South Africa suffers from a racially-skewed unequal distribution of land. The unequal patterns of access to land that continue to plague the country were facilitated by racially discriminatory laws and policies in the colonial and apartheid eras. The legislative framework that emerged from the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910 merely intensified the legacy of dispossession that had been established from the 17 th to the 19 th century. Consequently, at the advent of democracy in 1994, the newly-elected African National Congress government embarked on an all -encompassing land reform programme that was aimed at both redressing historical injustices and providing pathways for the future. The land reform programme in South Africa is three-fold, namely: land redistribution, tenure reform and land restitution. While all of the three sub-programmes are presently arguably in crisis, the main focus of the thesis – given the Ubuntu-dimension – is on particular aspects of the redistribution and restitution sub-programmes specifically. In this light, Ubuntu calls for a more people-centred, as opposed to a market-oriented approach, to land reform. Accordingly, the three specific matters explored within the redistribution and restitution contexts are: concerns related to the willing seller, willing buyer model of land acquisition; the links between land reform and poverty reduction and the lack of post-settlement support. Analysis of the above indicates clearly that innovative and community-based solutions are necessary for a more successful land reform programme. It is in this context that this study investigates the possible opportunities and drawbacks that could result from the application of Ubuntu in the land reform programme. This study takes a critical look at Ubuntu, both as a socio-cultural ethic and as a legal value. Heeding the lessons learnt from the Truth and Reconciliation process, where Ubuntu also resonated, and thereafter applying the principles, components and aims of Ubuntu to the above identified issues in the land reform programme, recommendations to existing processes and role players; as well as new developments, are made. While challenges may remain in employing Ubuntu in a land reform context, the study shows unequivocally that a more people-centred approach, inherent in Ubuntu, is not only possible, but is necessary for more effective land reform.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Dit is algemene kennis dat ras sentraal is tot die ongelyke verdeling van grond in Suid-Afrika. Die ongelykheid in die toegang tot grond wat steeds die land teister, is vergemaklik deur rasdiskriminerende wette en beleide van die koloniale en apartheidsperiodes. Die wetgewende raamwerk wat ontstaan het na die stigting van die Unie van Suid-Afrika in 1910, het die erfenis van onteiening wat vanaf die 17de tot die 19de eeu gestrek het, verder versterk. As gevolg hiervan, het die nuutverkose African National Congress-regering met die aanbreek van demokrasie in 1994 'n omvattende grondhervormingsprogram begin wat daarop gemik was om tegelykertyd historiese ongeregtighede reg te stel en rigtinggewend vir die toekoms te wees. Die grondhervormingsprogram in Suid-Afrika het drie subafdelings, naamlik: grondherverdeling, grondbeheerhervorming en grondrestitusie. Alhoewel al drie hierdie subprogramme tans waarskynlik in 'n krisis verkeer, is die hooffokus van die tesis - gegewe die Ubuntu-dimensie - op spesifieke aspekte van die grondherverdeling- en restitusie-subprogramme. Met inagneming van Ubuntu, word 'n meer mensgerigte benadering tot grondhervorming vereis. Dit is in teenstelling met ‘n markgerigte benadering. In hierdie konteks word drie spesifieke aangeleenthede binne die herverdeling- en restitusiekontekste ondersoek, naamlik: aangeleenthede verwant aan die gewillige verkoper-gewillige koper-model van grondverkryging; die verband tussen grondhervorming en die verligting van armoede; en die gebrek aan ondersteuning na finalisering van grondeise. Die ontleding van hierdie kwessies dui duidelik aan dat innoverende en gemeenskapsgebaseerde oplossings nodig is vir 'n meer suksesvolle grondhervormingsprogram. Dit is in hierdie konteks dat die studie die moontlike geleenthede en nadele wat die toepassing van Ubuntu in die grondhervormingsprogram kan hê, ondersoek. Hierdie studie ontleed Ubuntu krities, beide as sosio-kulturele etiese konsep en as ‘n regswaarde. Met inagneming van die lesse wat geleer is van die Waarheid en Versoeningskommissie se gebruik van Ubuntu tydens hulle proses, word die beginsels, elemente, en doelstellings van Ubuntu toegepas op bostaande kwessies in die grondhervormingsproses. Daar word vervolgens ook aanbevelings gemaak rakende bestaande prosesse en potensiële nuwe areas van ontwikkeling word voorgestel. Alhoewel daar uitdagings kan wees om Ubuntu in 'n grondhervormingsverband aan te wend, toon die studie onomwonde dat 'n meer mensgesentreerde benadering, inherent aan Ubuntu, nie net moontlik is nie, maar ook noodsaaklik is vir meer effektiewe grondhervorming.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/110493
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