A promise betrayed: policies and practice penew the rural dispossession of land, rights and prospects | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
janvier 2015
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South Africans assumed on 27 April 1994 that their vote for freedom would erase the ethnic enclaves known as ‘Bantustans’ or ‘homelands’ and guarantee a common citizenship with equal rights under one law. Officially, the 10 homelands were dismantled under the interim constitution that introduced democracy in 1994, paving the way for the reversal of the dispossession that had been entrenched by the 1913 and 1936 land acts. Instead, 20 years later, a series of laws, bills and policies proposes a separate legal regime for people within the boundaries of those former Bantustans. The effect is to consolidate the unilateral authority of chiefs in relation to land ownership and to deny other rural South Africans the right to decide for themselves how to use and share the newly discovered mineral wealth of the land they have owned and occupied for centuries.

This policy brief argues for the following:

national and provincial policy and legislation should remove superimposed tribal boundaries based on the architecture of apartheid and allow people to define their own identities. Customary
law must be recognised as consensual
the Department of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs and the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform should facilitate independent research to clarify the historical and customary entitlements of different groups. This would lead to more nuanced mining agreements reflecting the consent of those with specific interests in particular areas of land
the provisions of the Interim Protection of Informal Land Right Act of 1996 must be actively enforced by the state
the state needs to intervene in litigation by traditional leaders to uphold the right to tenure security set out in s25(6) of the Constitution and prevent threats to the basic land rights of poor people

Auteurs et éditeurs

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

A. Claassens
B. Boyle

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eldis (ELDIS)

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