Much of the international commons literature reveals a decreased functioning of local traditional institutions that regulate natural resource harvesting. In South Africa, it is believed that the creation of new democratic structures at the end of Apartheid has contributed significantly to the deterioration in traditional resource regulation and this in turn has led to the extensive resource degradation seen in parts of the country. Many of these assertions, though, remain anecdotal in nature.
Inclusive businesses (IBs), embodying partnerships between commercial agribusinesses and smallholder farmers/low-income communities, are considered to contribute towards rural development and agricultural sector transformation. Structured as complex organizational set-ups consisting of, and overcoming the limitations of, standard inclusive instruments (collective organization, mentorship, supply contract, lease/management contract and equity), they allow for the inclusion of smallholders and low-income communities into commercial agricultural value chains.
The paper investigates whether farm dwellers in the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province of South Africa are subject to a “double exposure”: vulnerable both to the impacts of post-apartheid agrarian dynamics and to the risks of climate change. The evidence is drawn from a 2017 survey that was undertaken by the Association for Rural Advancement (AFRA), which is a land rights Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), of 843 farm dweller households. Data on the current living conditions and livelihoods was collected on 15.3% of the farm dweller population in the area.
During its transition from racial apartheid to democracy in 1994, South Africa’s government announced it would strengthen the tenure rights of the estimated 16 million citizens who lived on communal land. By 2012, however, the government’s own reports concluded that the country had made little progress in the area of communal tenure reform.
Residents of mining areas testified at the Parliamentary High-Level panel on assessment of key legislation and acceleration of fundamental change about the acute disruptions caused in their lives and livelihoods by mining and their concerns are dealt with in several recommended amendments to legislation.
The mainstream in South Africa is paying little attention to the world outside the cities. This is a mistake because the future of the country’s economy may depend on battles raging in its far-flung rural areas. The latest sign of this battle is an attempt by some in the governing African National Congress to pass the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Bill, which will allow traditional leaders to enrich themselves at the expense of rural people.
Farmers’ interest group AgriSA last week released its own land audit. This filled in a major blank in the land reform and policy field: How many black emerging farmers have bought farms outside government’s land reform programme? We now have a part answer: they bought 4.3 million hectares. Other findings from this study are contested and methodological flaws are highlighted.
The pleas of thousands of rural people who made difficult journeys to attend public hearings across the country are largely ignored in the amended version of the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill set to be adopted by the National Assembly this week.
The Ingonyama Trust headed by Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu should be dissolved and the law that established it on the eve of South Africa’s liberation in 1994 should be repealed. This Act has effectively converted informal rural ownership rights to leasehold. Just days after the report was released, the Ingonyama Trust ramped up its campaign to persuade rural citizens to surrender their informal land rights to the Trust and to accept 40-year leases that could be cancelled for non-payment or other violations of the contract.
Parliament is processing, or is due to process, six bills that have particular significance for the rights of people living in SA’s former homelands. Three draft bills have also been published for comment. Among these are the Traditional Leadership and Governance Framework Amendment Bill and the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill, which together echo and seek to entrench important aspects of the Bantu Authorities Act that shaped apartheid.