Land Dispossession and Redistribution in South Africa – Periodisation of a Divided Country

Proceedings of The 6th World Conference on Research in Social Sciences

Year: 2023



Land Dispossession and Redistribution in South Africa – Periodisation of a Divided Country

Molokwane Revelation Matthews Serathi



The process of land dispossession in South Africa took place over centuries. African Blacks were forcefully removed from the ‘black spots’, land that was designated for occupation by White South Africans. African Blacks’ loss of land resulted in increased poverty, inequality, and dependence on other racial groups for social and economic survival.  In this paper, I highlight definite historical periods of dividing the country along racial lines, how African Blacks experienced the hardship of land dispossession, and attempts by the present South African government to redistribute land to the ‘rightful owners’. The discourse post-Apartheid era revolves around the call for the expropriation of land without compensation. The qualitative methods used include anecdotes of individuals affected by the Land Acts and literature reviews supporting this paper’s assertions. This paper adds to the existing literature by highlighting the impact of land legislation on ordinary citizens. The findings reveal the atrocious Land Acts and the effect thereof on ordinary citizens, as well as the complexity of the land redistribution processes in the post-Apartheid period. It is recommended that the land reform processes should ensure the full participation of all stakeholders such as the farming community and women. Central to the transformation agenda should be the skills transfer to Black farmers to ensure the sustainability of the rural economy. The government is expected to be more decisive in enacting the legislation that would enable the fast-tracking of land redistribution.

keywords: Apartheid, Colonialism, South Africa, Land Act; Land reform