Land governance in South Africa: implementing the Land Governance Assessment Framework | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
January 2013
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 

The Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF) is an innovative and participatory diagnostic tool that assesses the state of land governance in a country. This booklet summarises the results of the LGAF process in South Africa.

The paper indicates that the application of the LGAF in South Africa has been challenging. The country has a well-developed economy, including a well-functioning formal land market. However, informal systems, especially within the communal land areas, are steeped in oral tradition and practice.

The observations made during the LGAF process include:

land management involves a wide range of sectors, legislation and specialists
urban and rural areas are often so closely interlinked, which makes any distinction between them difficult and sometimes artificial
tenure in South Africa is very complex, with over 100 different tenure types

Consequently, the author suggest the following key areas for further examination:

improved tracking of large-scale land acquisition in Africa and its impact; tracking is currently mainly through media reports
the preparation of a methodology and related tools for supporting municipalities in the implementation of an incremental tenure approach
the development of a possible legal framework for supporting the implementation of an incremental tenure approach
support with the drafting of suitable legislation to enforce communal land rights


Authors and Publishers

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

F. Kitchin
W. Ovens


"Urban LandMark" is short for the Urban Land Markets Programme Southern Africa. Based in Pretoria, the programme was set up in May 2006 with seven years of funding from the UK's Department for International Development until March 2013. The initiative is now hosted at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in South Africa.

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