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Title: Land reform and livelihoods in South Africa's Northern Cape province
Author: Bradstock, Alastair.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3474 5674
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2003
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This thesis sets out to examine the extent to which the South African government's land reform programme might provide a way out of poverty for its beneficiaries. The research was undertaken with two previously marginalised rural communities situated in the Northern Cape province of South Africa that had recently been granted land through the restitution and redistribution components of the programme. The methodology used to undertake the research was the so-called livelihoods approach or framework. The results emphasised the low asset status of most households and their striking dependence upon public transfers, in particular old age pensions and disability grants. For better-off households, it is participation in paid employment that enables them to avoid poverty. Another insight from the research was that unemployment levels in the study groups when compared to provincial and national averages are extremely high and poorer households are more severely affected than richer ones. Although the ANC has been in power for nearly 10 years and has repealed previous discriminatory apartheid legislation, it is evident that poor black people remain unable to access factor and product markets. The institutional legacies of apartheid coupled with the post-1994 liberal macro-economic policies of the government have combined to give rise to an environment that weakens the effectiveness of poverty reduction policies. The research demonstrates unequivocally that restituting or redistributing land that is geographically remote from the residence location of the beneficiaries, and with no service or technical support to assist them with start-up agricultural activities, provides no effective solution to reducing poverty in rural South Africa. This weak leverage on poverty reduction is exacerbated for one of the study groups by legislation that prohibits the beneficiaries from building homesteads on the land they now own. Considering the current failure of the land reform programme to meet its poverty reduction objectives, this thesis proposes that land should only be made available to poor people in smaller quantities and near their homes so that they can utilise it with minimal outside support. Accepting that land reform is unlikely to have a substantial effect on poverty reduction, other policies such as public works programmes and human capital development are discussed as alternative policy strands.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available