Land redistribution as a poverty alleviation strategy

Redistribution is one version of land and agrarian reform, but it has not been the most common historically. Many of the major land reforms of the world have been of the ‘land to the tiller’ variety, affecting one dimension of agrarian structure – the ownership of property – but leaving others relatively intact, as former tenants or peasants end up cultivating the same, or somewhat expanded, plots as before.

At a very general level, land reform, like most politico-economic policies, can be said to be driven by considerations of either efficiency or equity, and sometimes both.

Efficiency-biased arguments for land reform are typically driven by notions of economic transformation and are associated politically with well-established regimes whose aspirations go beyond the agrarian sector – this typically implies taking on’ landowners or producers in the agricultural sector, be they feudalistic landlords or peasants: Prussia and Ireland in the nineteenth century come to mind, as do the communist examples of China and the Soviet Union in the twentieth, and the capitalist cases of Taiwan and South Korea.

Efficiency arguments are rarely concerned with equity within the agrarian economy, as their promoters typically have their sights on broader objectives, e.g. extracting food and value for the urban-industrial economy or enhancing the power of the state.

Redistribution is one version of land and agrarian reform, but it has not been the most common historically. Many of the major land reforms of the world have been of the ‘land to the tiller’ variety, affecting one dimension of agrarian structure – the ownership of property – but leaving others relatively intact, as former tenants or peasants end up cultivating the same, or somewhat expanded, plots as before. What has changed is the relationship of the producers to the land and to other classes, with enhanced opportunities for accumulation.

Only in very exceptional cases – such as parts of eastern Europe in the wake of the First World War, and Spain during the civil war – have large productive farms been turned into worker or peasant collectives with little or no involvement by the state, and these have rarely lasted for long after the exceptional conditions that brought them about have passed.

This has since occurred to some extent in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, but usually in the form of ‘accumulation from above’, making it quite different from most historical land reforms in the absence of any claims to equality or poverty alleviation. Lack of clarity around the aims of land reform and a lack of reliable information about its performance, make it particularly difficult to evaluate.

This, in turn, can be traced back to contradictions at the heart of land reform policy in South Africa – that extends to the relationship, if any, to poverty alleviation.

 

 

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source:Griffin, K. 1974. The political economy of agrarian change. London: Macmillan.REDISTRIBUTIVE LAND REFORM AND POVERTY REDUCTION IN SOUTH AFRICA byEdwardlahiffinhttp://r4d.dfid.gov.uk/PDF/ESRC_DFID/60332_Lahiff_Redistributive.pdf

Intolerance & Controversy over Imminent Precipice of Land Distribution Reached

Land redistribution has been a subject well-known to cause a stir in the melting pot of racial tension in South Africa. Equal rights are being rightfully demanded from all racial groups and opinions involved; however the balance of land division has not yet been established to a degree that is found to satisfy all parties.

Land redistribution has been a subject well-known to cause a stir in the melting pot of racial tension in South Africa. Equal rights are being rightfully demanded from all racial groups and opinions involved; however the balance of land division has not yet been established to a degree that is found to satisfy all parties. Without distribution that leaves all South African’s united in matching views on the worth and fairness of the land being re-appropriated, there has been constant conflict, disagreements and ceaseless racial tension. A motion to be passed was revealed by Gugile Nkwinti, Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform of the ruling African National Congress. Minister Nkwinti released a rather ambiguous public statement during a handover ceremony which occurred at the Kruger National Park on Monday 23rd May, 2016.

Hazy Vision of Land Distribution Future

His revelation explained the state of land redistribution forthcoming. Revealing only vague details, he stated “If you are a small-scale farm and have one-thousand four-hundred hectares, we will buy the four-hundred, and leave you with your one-thousand. We will buy the extra and redistribute it to black people.” Even though is inevitable that a full disclosure will be made available to the public in the near future, his lack of further specifics stoked a country-wide uproar of rage, opposition and yet further tension in our rainbow nation. The only elaboration that the minister divulged was that ‘land ceilings’ are to be imposed on property ranging between one-thousand and twelve-thousand hectares, these referenced as small scale farms with the deficit being claimed. This proposed upcoming amendment to the Regulation of Land Holdings Bill has been in the pipeline since the release of the Green Papers in 2011. This bill is a government discourse on the status of agricultural variables within South Africa’s emergency economy. The ANC has repeatedly assured the nation of their earnest concern to quicken the division of land, citing reasons related to the reparation of past inequalities, expansion of the local economy and the diversification and integration of social relations between individuals and entities that would not normally be exposed to each other.

Agri SA Lashes Out – No Tolerance for Upcoming Bill

The compassionate and good-spirited union of all individuals, businesses and governing bodies that make up our country, is needed for nation-wide growth, prosperity and abundance. Not every individual concerned is convinced of their ruling party’s motives. Agri SA met the motion with extreme resistance, stating that they plan to release a legal opposition to the bill. The firm view of this prominent non-profit organization of private farmers is that implementing the mandatory sale of a fixed proportion of land, as proposed, will be the same as “Gambling with food security”. President of Agri SA, Johannes Moller, also expressed that the bill would cause “fragmentation of agricultural land‚ a negative impact on productivity‚ a reduction in the profitability of agribusinesses‚ very little positive effect – or none at all – on poverty relief‚ high administration costs and a negative impact on investment in the sector”. Regardless of the outcome, it is crystal clear that with a housing deficit of 2.5 million homes and 7.5 million South Africans estimated to be homeless, the issue is becoming ever-more urgent. When combined with the inhumane living & social conditions matched with the poor infrastructure found in widespread areas of our nation, is evident that South Africa is in desperate need of healing and reparation in many forms.