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

Latest News

Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Green
27 November 2017
South Africa

Dynamic country portfolios combine detailed narratives with Linked Open Data to provide comprehensive overviews of land governance systems

South African landscape
South Africa

South African Government (Pretoria)


6 AUGUST 2015

South Africa: Rural Development and Land Reform Approves Land for Women, Farm Workers and People Living With Disability



Women, farm workers and persons with disability, were among the latest land reform beneficiaries of a multi-million rand fund to acquire land through the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform programmes. Read more.

Corruption in South Africa
2 March 2018
South Africa

Government needs to strengthen institutions of land reform‚ eliminate corruption and deal with bureaucracy if it wants to succeed with the new land reform proposals.

That’s according to prominent advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi.

He said this was the thrust of what President Cyril Ramaphosa announced in his state of the nation address to Parliament and what the Economic Freedom Fighters have tabled before the same house.





Non Governmental organization

Our vision is of a self-reliant society in which people have equitable access to resources and institutions are an expression of people’s needs and aspirations.

Our mission is to support civic agency through catalytic interventions aimed at achieving systemic change in good local governance and sustainable human settlement development.

Farmers Association

With the establishment of the African Farmers’ Association of South Africa (AFASA) in Boksburg on 11 and 12 April 2011, developing farmers now have a new, powerful voice. The launch of AFASA is the culmination of a yearlong consultation process with developing farmers country-wide to determine their need for an official structure that represents their interests.

Civil Society Organization

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.

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.

Environment for Development logo
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.

Governmental institution

Dutch traders landed at the southern tip of modern day South Africa in 1652 and established a stopover point on the spice route between the Netherlands and the Far East, founding the city of Cape Town. After the British seized the Cape of Good Hope area in 1806, many of the Dutch settlers (Afrikaners, called "Boers" (farmers) by the British) trekked north to found their own republics in lands taken from the indigenous black inhabitants. The discovery of diamonds (1867) and gold (1886) spurred wealth and immigration and intensified the subjugation of the native inhabitants.

University or Research Institution

“As South Africans we can achieve anything we wish, including putting human and social science research into action, as we put our minds to it and work together with a common purpose to uplift our people beyond inequality and gender differences.”

The HSRC was established in 1968 as South Africa’s statutory research agency and has grown to become the largest dedicated research institute in the social sciences and humanities on the African continent, doing cutting-edge public research in areas that are crucial to development.

Civil Society Organization


LAMOSA is an independent Community Based Organization (CBO) advocating for land and agrarian rights, and substantive democracy through facilitating sustainable development. 

LAMOSA was established in 1991 to mobilize disposed communities to collectively fight discriminatory colonial and apartheid land laws, racial and gender discrimination and poverty. LAMASO in partnership with the government and Civil Society Organization (CSO) work in four provinces- Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northwest and Gauteng provinces.

University or Research Institution

LARC is a research and advocacy unit within the Law Department of the University of Cape Town concerned with power relations, and the impact of national laws and policy in framing the balance of patriarchal and autocratic power within which rural women and men struggle for democratic change at the local level. There has recently been a push from government to introduce laws and policies giving traditional leaders unaccountable powers over “subjects” living in the former homeland areas of South Africa.

Lawyers for Human Rights Logo
Non-profit organization

Mission: To provide free legal services to vulnerable individuals and communities that have been denied their constitutional rights. Our overarching goal is to “make rights real”; we aim to ensure that the progressive promise of our national legislation is realised by representing clients (South Africans or non-nationals) who have been deprived of the law’s protection. We specialise in the following  areas Refugee and Migrant Rights, Strategic Litigation, Penal Reform, Environmental Rights, Land and Housing, and Gender Equality. 

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