Land reform and sustainable livelihoods in South Africa's Eastern Cape province | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
January 2003
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 
eldis:A14114

This paper examines the experiences of implementation of land reform policies in the Eastern Cape through a series of case studies.It looks at how attempts at redistribution, restitution and land tenure reform have resulted in a variety of models and approaches. The paper evaluates the pros and cons of each model, and discusses the challenge of developing a more integrated, livelihoods oriented approach.The study finds that while claiming to address livelihoods, alleviation of poverty and development of rural areas, the South African land reform programme has struggled to achieve this in practice, for various reasons.Main findings include:there is a lack of integration and coordination of programme areas; this can be related to the lack of a comprehensive rural development strategy at either provincial or national level. However, this is being addressed by the Department of Land Affairs (DLA) and Regional Land Claims Commission (RLCC) increasingly working with other government structures and carefully planning projects in ways that increasingly focus on livelihoods and sustainabilitycomplex governmental structures present a major challenge to land reform policy, in terms of policy design, inter institutional co operation and accountabilityin addition to DLA and RLCC, a range of other organisations are involved in land reform in the Eastern Cape and play a valuable role in shaping policythe delegation of responsibility to multi functional local government structures has allowed for the integration of land reform with other key policy areas, such as water and housing, to a degree that was not possible under single function line departments and provides a realistic basis for the promotion of sustainable livelihoodsdynamic NGOs, well-organised and articulate local communities and a variety of service providers from the private sector also play a vital role in the more successful land reform initiatives in the provincemany rural communities however, are loosely defined and poorly organised, loyalties are commonly divided between two types of local government, elected local authorities and traditional leaders, both of which struggle to provide effective leadership to rural communities and to access key reform programmeswork remains to be done in order to integrate sustainable livelihoods approaches into South African land reform, and rural development policy more generally, and to create a decentralised institutional framework that is accountable to local people and responsive to their needs.[adapted from author]

Authors and Publishers

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

E. Lahiff

Publisher(s): 

Data provider

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