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The Land Question in South Africa An Historical and Policy Perspective from Kwazulu-Natal Giuliano Martiniello Giuliano Martiniello PhD Student, School.

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Presentation on theme: "The Land Question in South Africa An Historical and Policy Perspective from Kwazulu-Natal Giuliano Martiniello Giuliano Martiniello PhD Student, School."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Land Question in South Africa An Historical and Policy Perspective from Kwazulu-Natal Giuliano Martiniello Giuliano Martiniello PhD Student, School of Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds PhD Student, School of Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds

2 Introduction: “ It delves into the past only beacause otherwise would be impossible understanding how the present came into being and what the trends are for the near future” (Rodney, 1972) Section 1: Longue Dureé of Rural Historical Transformations; Political Economy of Resources and Development; Indirect Rule. Section 1: Longue Dureé of Rural Historical Transformations; Political Economy of Resources and Development; Indirect Rule. Section 2: Case study of a rural community - KwaNgcolosi Section 2: Case study of a rural community - KwaNgcolosi Section 3: Understanding the limits, challenges and the way forward of Land Reform Section 3: Understanding the limits, challenges and the way forward of Land Reform

3 The Colonial Context Land dispossession, privatization and primitive accumulation (Boers occupation of Natalia free grant 2500ha - and then British alienation of land 1843 and the imperial land grant system - quitrent) Land dispossession, privatization and primitive accumulation (Boers occupation of Natalia free grant 2500ha - and then British alienation of land 1843 and the imperial land grant system - quitrent) Uneven Racial distribution of Land: the locations system and the roots of segregation (The Natal Native Commission under Shepstone) Uneven Racial distribution of Land: the locations system and the roots of segregation (The Natal Native Commission under Shepstone) Origins of Indirect Rule: governing Africans through the Tradtional Authorities (Mamdani, 1996) Origins of Indirect Rule: governing Africans through the Tradtional Authorities (Mamdani, 1996) The Invention of Tradition (Ranger,1982) and the Creation of Tribalism (Vail, 1989) The Invention of Tradition (Ranger,1982) and the Creation of Tribalism (Vail, 1989)

4 Locations and Mission Reserves

5 Table of Land alienation in the British colony of Natal

6 Farms granted to Voortrekkers and Native Locations

7 Uneven distribution of land between Treekers and “Newcomers”

8 Settlers, Peasants, Preachers and Sugar Production White economic power: freehold property, capitalist production for the export market and wage labour (sugar plantation and coal mines) White economic power: freehold property, capitalist production for the export market and wage labour (sugar plantation and coal mines) Colonial state assistance (not only the “forces” of the market) and African taxation (hut tux and isibalo, , - one men every 11 huts -) Colonial state assistance (not only the “forces” of the market) and African taxation (hut tux and isibalo, , - one men every 11 huts -) First black capitalist attempts in Natal: the Kolwa and missionaries (Etherington, 1977) First black capitalist attempts in Natal: the Kolwa and missionaries (Etherington, 1977) Limits and constraints of sugar cane production: African indebtedness and Indian agricultural success. Limits and constraints of sugar cane production: African indebtedness and Indian agricultural success. Merchant, rentier and finance capital: the speculation of Natal Land Colonization Company Merchant, rentier and finance capital: the speculation of Natal Land Colonization Company

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10 Selected “Tribes” and Chiefs in Inanda

11 The undermining effect of privatization of Land in Inanda: “the county garden” Mqawe, The Qadi chief, considered private property as a corrosive element of the bonds of the chiefdoms Mqawe, The Qadi chief, considered private property as a corrosive element of the bonds of the chiefdoms By 1860 intensive sugar production boomed, between 1864 and 1874 the number of acres under cultivation rose from 5000 to over By 1860 intensive sugar production boomed, between 1864 and 1874 the number of acres under cultivation rose from 5000 to over Rising up the (inflated) prices of land from £1 or £2 per acre Rising up the (inflated) prices of land from £1 or £2 per acre All the land outside the location and mission reserve had been privatized (Natal Land Colonization Company) All the land outside the location and mission reserve had been privatized (Natal Land Colonization Company) Merchant brookers and financiers became to take control of sugar production itself Merchant brookers and financiers became to take control of sugar production itself Centralization of the aspects of industrial production Centralization of the aspects of industrial production 1860 and 1911 some indentured immigrants were brought to Natal 1860 and 1911 some indentured immigrants were brought to Natal Up until the 1890 there were African tenants (who paid monetary rent on farms, then squeezed by a sugar expansion and Indian competition in the 1870, 6000 were indentured, the other were agriculturalists (Hughes, 1980) Up until the 1890 there were African tenants (who paid monetary rent on farms, then squeezed by a sugar expansion and Indian competition in the 1870, 6000 were indentured, the other were agriculturalists (Hughes, 1980)

12 Draconian Colonial Laws and Ecological events The Police Force was expanded in 1894 The Police Force was expanded in 1894 Master and Servant law 1886 Master and Servant law 1886 Indian discrimination legislation in the 1890s Indian discrimination legislation in the 1890s The Native Code 1891 The Native Code 1891 Rising of rent on Crown Lands and new rents on Mission Reserves 1903 Rising of rent on Crown Lands and new rents on Mission Reserves 1903 The Agricultural Development Act of 1904 and Land and Agricultural Fund Act of 1907 The Agricultural Development Act of 1904 and Land and Agricultural Fund Act of 1907 The Poll Tax 1905 The Poll Tax The Native Land Act 1913 The Native Land Act From 1888 severe droughts From 1888 severe droughts A severe infestation of locusts A severe infestation of locusts The rinderpest and the east coast fever in the early 1900 The rinderpest and the east coast fever in the early ICU Resistance in town and countryside ICU Resistance in town and countryside

13 The Fall of a Peasantry? From rent tenants, sharecroppers and labour tenants to farm workers?: the compexity and variety of social relations in the countryside From rent tenants, sharecroppers and labour tenants to farm workers?: the compexity and variety of social relations in the countryside Migrant labour Migrant labour The semiproletarianization thesis: uneven and combined development The semiproletarianization thesis: uneven and combined development

14 The evolution of the Bantustan system The evolution of the Bantustan system 1951 the Bantu Authorities Act was passed: this act changed the status of the reserves into “homelands” the Bantu Authorities Act was passed: this act changed the status of the reserves into “homelands” Promotion of Bantu Self-Government Act was passed 1959 Promotion of Bantu Self-Government Act was passed million rural African people were removed from the so-called black spots. Thus the forcible removal of Africans from their ancestral lands that begun during the wars of conquest and extended by the 1913 Land act is being continued today on an even larger scale, see the “betterment scheme ”. SPP million rural African people were removed from the so-called black spots. Thus the forcible removal of Africans from their ancestral lands that begun during the wars of conquest and extended by the 1913 Land act is being continued today on an even larger scale, see the “betterment scheme ”. SPP Group areas Act and the use of migrant labour Group areas Act and the use of migrant labour Zulu Territorial Authority, Homeland Citizenship Act: the creation of an unified geo-political entity. Zulu Territorial Authority, Homeland Citizenship Act: the creation of an unified geo-political entity.

15 A rural community within the “ex-locations”in the 21st Century: The case of Kwangcolosi The majority of the household are women headed or males are absent for large period of the week or of the month. The majority of the household are women headed or males are absent for large period of the week or of the month. The average size of the household is 7.3 people, with a majority of people under 18 and women over 40 years old. The average size of the household is 7.3 people, with a majority of people under 18 and women over 40 years old. High degree of dependence of non rural income, including pensions or other state grants and migrant wage remittances High degree of dependence of non rural income, including pensions or other state grants and migrant wage remittances High population densities, some landnessness and a large portion of households without livestock. High population densities, some landnessness and a large portion of households without livestock. Weak or absent support systems for agriculture and other land based livelihoods, together with constrained access to input or output markets; consequences include under-cultivation and lack of interest in farming by youth Weak or absent support systems for agriculture and other land based livelihoods, together with constrained access to input or output markets; consequences include under-cultivation and lack of interest in farming by youth Food insecurity at household level, resulting in malnutrition. Food insecurity at household level, resulting in malnutrition. Rising levels of unemployment in the formal sector mean that migration to urban areas is not the sole answer to rural poverty. Rising levels of unemployment in the formal sector mean that migration to urban areas is not the sole answer to rural poverty. Circular movement between rural and urban areas, commuter and weekly or monthly returns of male as well as female labourers. Every family has a least one person involved in circular migration. Circular movement between rural and urban areas, commuter and weekly or monthly returns of male as well as female labourers. Every family has a least one person involved in circular migration. The majority perform unskilled works, mainly domestic workers (“garden boys and kitchen girls”) The majority perform unskilled works, mainly domestic workers (“garden boys and kitchen girls”) Although poverty is widespread, the rural population is socially differentiated and pockets of (relative) wealth and privilege exist Although poverty is widespread, the rural population is socially differentiated and pockets of (relative) wealth and privilege exist Despite the highly adverse conditions, land based livelihoods (including the use of natural resources held in common – wood for cooking and to build huts, water streams, medicinal and other curative plants, pasture for cattle – Despite the highly adverse conditions, land based livelihoods (including the use of natural resources held in common – wood for cooking and to build huts, water streams, medicinal and other curative plants, pasture for cattle –

16 De-peasantization and de-agrarianization, expressed in the fact that on 43 households surveyed, the average of ha per plot is 0.7 ha, with more than 50% with plots between 0 and 0.2 ha and just 20% with 2 ha or more. Land not used extensively. Less then half had their field fenced. Less then 10% produces regularly to sell produce on the market. People have no assistance for tools, fertilizers, small irrigation schemes and access to market. De-peasantization and de-agrarianization, expressed in the fact that on 43 households surveyed, the average of ha per plot is 0.7 ha, with more than 50% with plots between 0 and 0.2 ha and just 20% with 2 ha or more. Land not used extensively. Less then half had their field fenced. Less then 10% produces regularly to sell produce on the market. People have no assistance for tools, fertilizers, small irrigation schemes and access to market. Rural dwellers, especially women deeply value the pursuit of farming activities. Rural dwellers, especially women deeply value the pursuit of farming activities. Food self-provisioning is gaining in importance against a backdrop of food price inflation (bread and vegetables above all but also cooking oil) and proliferating cash needs. Food self-provisioning is gaining in importance against a backdrop of food price inflation (bread and vegetables above all but also cooking oil) and proliferating cash needs. That a market in non registered land is in continuous transformation changing the composition of the communities even though strong controls of new entrants are demanded. That a market in non registered land is in continuous transformation changing the composition of the communities even though strong controls of new entrants are demanded. Families spend the greatest part of their income in buying food, then other recurrent expenses are water and electricity, transport and funerals. Families spend the greatest part of their income in buying food, then other recurrent expenses are water and electricity, transport and funerals. Medium-Low levels of education Medium-Low levels of education Low level of sanitary services (very few families use municipal toilets). Low level of sanitary services (very few families use municipal toilets). All have had a rural past where their families were involved in farming and cattle rearing All have had a rural past where their families were involved in farming and cattle rearing Low levels of participation to the decision making at local level (people are informed of what happens or will occur) Low levels of participation to the decision making at local level (people are informed of what happens or will occur) Research reveals that rural people see tenure as secure de facto as it is linked to being members of the community but that a secure access to land and resources underpins multiple livelihoods strategies. Research reveals that rural people see tenure as secure de facto as it is linked to being members of the community but that a secure access to land and resources underpins multiple livelihoods strategies.

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19 Market-Based Land Reform: success or failure after 14 years? Market-Based Land Reform: success or failure after 14 years? At the end of the Apartheid government virtually all commercial farmland (86% of all farmlands and 68% of the total surface area) was in the hands of white minority and concentrated in the hands of owners (Bernstein, 1996). At the end of the Apartheid government virtually all commercial farmland (86% of all farmlands and 68% of the total surface area) was in the hands of white minority and concentrated in the hands of owners (Bernstein, 1996). Target to redistribute 30 of land% in five years. Target to redistribute 30 of land% in five years. In million of hectares have been transferred through the various branches of Land reform, benefiting an estimate of 1,2 million of peole. In million of hectares have been transferred through the various branches of Land reform, benefiting an estimate of 1,2 million of peole. In 2007, 43% has been transferred trough the redistribution programme, with lesser amount being transferred through land resitituion, state land disposal and land tenure. In 2007, 43% has been transferred trough the redistribution programme, with lesser amount being transferred through land resitituion, state land disposal and land tenure. The total transferred is equivalent to 4.7% of the agricultural land in white ownership in 1994 The total transferred is equivalent to 4.7% of the agricultural land in white ownership in 1994 Redistribution 43.8%, Restitution 29.9,% State land disposal 22.6%, Tenure Reform 3.7. Redistribution 43.8%, Restitution 29.9,% State land disposal 22.6%, Tenure Reform 3.7. MBLR in South Africa has managed to transfer relatively small amounts of land, an average of around 0.36% of the targeted agricultural land per annum, and only about 6% of the total land transacted through the deeds registry every year. MBLR in South Africa has managed to transfer relatively small amounts of land, an average of around 0.36% of the targeted agricultural land per annum, and only about 6% of the total land transacted through the deeds registry every year.

20 Limits and Constraints Landowner veto on participation in land reform Landowner veto on participation in land reform Payment of ‘market prices’ for land Payment of ‘market prices’ for land Self-selection of beneficiaries Self-selection of beneficiaries Focus on ‘commercial’ forms of production Focus on ‘commercial’ forms of production Prominent role for the private sector in provision of credit, extension and other services Prominent role for the private sector in provision of credit, extension and other services Monopolization and Speculation of Land Monopolization and Speculation of Land

21 Conclusions South Africa’s government has focused attention on land reform in the narrowest sense (transfer of land) and and has left the structures of land ownership and the agricultural economy not only intact but largely unchallenged. Framed within a neo-liberal architecture of macroeconomic policies and the ideological demise of the role of the state, it has refused to intervene decisively on the part of the landless (either via the market or otherwise) or to challenge the interests of established landowners and agricultural capital in any way, policy based on MBLR has shown itself to be incapable of fundamentally changing the conditions which recreate poverty, landlessness and inequality. South Africa’s government has focused attention on land reform in the narrowest sense (transfer of land) and and has left the structures of land ownership and the agricultural economy not only intact but largely unchallenged. Framed within a neo-liberal architecture of macroeconomic policies and the ideological demise of the role of the state, it has refused to intervene decisively on the part of the landless (either via the market or otherwise) or to challenge the interests of established landowners and agricultural capital in any way, policy based on MBLR has shown itself to be incapable of fundamentally changing the conditions which recreate poverty, landlessness and inequality. Unthinking Marked Based Land Reform: towards Encompassing Agrarian Reform. Unthinking Marked Based Land Reform: towards Encompassing Agrarian Reform.


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