Despite the achievement of Constitutional democracy in 1994, 'the land question' is at the heart of South Africa's struggles to overcome the cumulative legacies of nearly 350 years of white minority rule. The emotive quality of land policies evokes painful legacies fuelled by disappointments with the official land reform programme ushered in by the new Constitution of 1996. There is broad agreement that land reform programmes have not fulfilled their aims to significantly redistribute land and productive agrarian capacity, strengthen land tenure for the majority, and settle the restitution claims of victims of land dispossession.

Learn more about the successes and challenges in South Africa.

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Permanent meadows and pastures - land used permanently (five years or more) to grow herbaceous forage crops, either cultivated or growing wild (wild prairie or grazing land).

Measurement unit: 
1000 Ha



Commonwealth Forestry Association logo

What we do

We are reminded on a daily basis that the natural environment in which we live is vitally important for our well-being, whether it is in the form of climate change, global warming, declining fertility or dwindling natural resources.

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University or Research Institution

The Environment for Development (EfD) Initiative is a capacity building program in environmental economics focusing on research, policy interaction, and academic programs. The overall objective of EfD is to support poverty alleviation and sustainable development by building environmental economics capacity in policy making processes.

Civil Society Organization

LEAP came into existence in 1988 when a group of KwaZulu-Natal land practitioners from NGOs, government and the private sector began to focus on why the communal property institutions (CPIs) set up under land reform appeared to be failing. The Legal Entity Assessment Project, as it was initially known, questioned the widely held view that the land reform communal property associations (CPAs) and trusts needed capacity building.

Ndifuna Ukwazi - Dare to Know
Civil Society Organization

Ndifuna Ukwazi is an activist organisation and law centre that promotes the realisation of Constitutional Rights and Social Justice – through legal, research and organising support to working class people, communities and social movements. The organistion works to advance urban land justice – that is the protection and promotion of access to affordable, well located housing in Cape Town; building inclusive and sustainable mixed use and mixed income communities; and supporting tenant rights and security of tenure in both private and public housing.

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Phuhlisani NPC (Phuhlisani)

Non-profit organization

Phuhlisani began as a consultancy started by a group of people who wanted to support emerging farmers who obtained access to land through land reform programmes in South Africa. In 2015, after 12 years in operation as a Closed Corporation, the members of the company decided to convert Phuhlisani to a Non-Profit Company which took place in October 2015.

Phuhlisani NPC provides comprehensive services and support for sustainable land reform and rural development including:

Civil Society Organization

SERI is a public interest legal services organisation that provides pro-bono assistance to communities through research, advocacy and litigation across three main themes: ‘Securing a Home’, ‘Making a Living’ and ‘Expanding Political Space’.

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Data aggregator

The South African Land Observatory is an initiative whose overall objective is to promote evidence-based and inclusive decision-making over land resources in South Africa. As its name ‘Observatory’ suggests, it collects data and information on land. The initiative is a repository of what is published on land in South Africa and on the events that take place around land in South Africa.

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