The dominant corporate structure of South Africa's agro-food system has led many to suggest there is limited value in redistributing land as a scarce economic resource, or in providing support to black small-scale farmers when large agribusinesses are capable of meeting food needs. Agrarian reform (land reform plus black small-scale farmer support) is not a necessary component of the existing economic system in South Africa. Yet it has tremendous political importance, especially in the context of a stagnant or declining job market. After considering the development of the corporate agro-food system in South Africa, and its impact on agrarian reform, this paper concludes that agrarian reform as a political project and a vision retains the potential to contribute not only to a more just society, but also to progressive economic transformation.
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