Principles of, and approaches to, rural land (re)distribution : a case study in South Africa
This thesis is concerned with evaluating the principles of, and approaches to, contemporary land redistribution programmes. Using contemporary South African land redistribution policy as a case study, it examines the policy process of a land reform programme. This enables an assessment of the extent to which policy implementation difficulties that are often experienced are the result of flawed policy conceptualisation and/or policy development, rather than simply poor policy implementation. Drawing on fieldwork conducted in South Africa between 1998 and 2001, the thesis provides the first full account of the policy process for contemporary South African land redistribution policy. This account identifies many of the broader political and contextual factors that help explain why and how the policy process evolved as it did, and adds to previous academic research on the extent to which competing political agendas affected the policy process. The main argument of the thesis is that the policy process for conceptualising, developing and implementing land redistribution policy between 1994 and 2001 was flawed. The thesis contrasts theoretical models of a policy process with models of the actual policy processes observed in South Africa during this period, in order to identify how and why the policy process was flawed. It proposes that the policy process was influenced primarily by competing political agendas that weakened and hindered the policy conceptualisation and policy development stages of the process, resulting in a land redistribution policy that was both difficult to implement and unable to meet the challenge of rural poverty it was meant to help alleviate.