A neglected area in the literature on structural poverty is changing land tenure relations and the disconnect with planning frameworks, which lock particular areas into „vicious‟ cycles of poverty. These areas include some tribal authority, “black freehold” and land reform areas. In this paper, we focus on the case study of Cornfields, a black freehold area and an early land reform project. We argue that under apartheid black freehold areas became „special purpose places‟, which, while facing forced removals, played the role of re-incorporating „surplus people‟, and in the process created bases for localized authority that were not derived exclusively from either formal or tribal property systems. Land reform and the introduction of developmental local government further multiplied the sources of localized power, increasing conflict and eroding the community‟s ability to act collectively to access national development plans, thus consolidating trajectories into deeper poverty.
Authors and Publishers
AFRA is a land rights advocacy non-governmental organisation (NGO) working since 1979 to support marginalised black rural people, with a focus on farm dwellers. We are working towards an inclusive, gender equitable society where rights are valued, realised and protected, essential services are delivered, and land tenure is secure. We work intensively with communities in and around the uMgungundlovu District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and extensively in offering support and advice.