Obtainment of land property/land use.
The Parliament of South Africa has agreed to amend the Constitution of the country in order to make it explicit that it is possible to expropriate land without paying compensation in order to further land reforms. The supporters of this move - the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) – argue that this is necessary to speed up land reforms in order to overcome the continuing extreme and still largely racially defined inequalities in land ownership.
Marc Wegerif, of the Human Economy Program within the Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship at University of Pretoria, was presenting at the 2019 Conference on Land Policy in Africa (CLPA) in Abidjan Cote d’Ivoire on 28th November 2019. The theme of the CLPA was “Winning the fight against Corruption in the Land Sector: Sustainable Pathway for Africa’s Transformation”.
The land sector is increasingly being cited as a corruption hub. Many countries across the globe are grappling with land-related corruption that dates to the colonial years and which have metamorphosed into historical injustices and continue to be a source of conflict and violation of basic human rights. Cases of land grabbing, compensation-less expropriation, gender-based discrimination in accessing and ownership of land and related resources, illegal mining deals, bribing to access land administration services among others are not new in the lands sector.
Next week the Conference on Land Policy in Africa - Winning the Fight against Corruption in the Land Sector: Sustainable Pathway for Africa’s Transformation, will take place in Abidjan. The African Union recognises that corruption is a key factor hampering efforts at promoting governance, socio-economic transformation, peace and security, and the enjoyment of human rights in the Member States.
Over the past year, during my work in western Uganda, I have had the opportunity to get to know Paolyel Onencan. Paolyel is the Executive Director of Buliisa Initiative for Rural Development Organisation (BIRUDO). Paolyel and his BIRUDO colleagues are doing good work around Uganda’s oil and gas development in the Albertine Graben, by helping families get better deals on compensation from the oil companies (Total and China National Offshore Oil Company) working in the region.
In the past decade, significant international attention focused on “land grabs” in developing countries by companies and others hungry for land to grow food and procure resources for the world’s growing population.
There is a strong and compelling environment and development case to be made for securing indigenous and community lands. Securing collective land rights offers a low-cost, high-reward investment for developing country governments and their partners to meet national development objectives and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Securing community lands is also a cost-effective climate mitigation measure for countries when compared to other carbon capture and storage approaches.
Thousands of farmers from across India will march to the parliament in New Delhi on November 30, to demand action on the deepening agrarian crisis that has left a trail of heavy debts and suicide in its wake.
Fred Nelson is executive director of Maliasili and Michael Taylor is director of International Land Coalition
Land rights have finally been invited to the party - sitting at the intersection of some of the world’s most urgent development, environmental, and human rights priorities.