Reflections on expropriation-based land reform in Southern Africa

  • Anele Mthembu University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Keywords: land reform, expropriation, compensation, planning

Abstract

The South African media mainly reports on the division that the land debate is creating in the country, with some fearing that South Africa could be  the next Zimbabwe and others anticipating a long-awaited new dawn. The land debate in South Africa is thus ongoing. However, the implications  that may affect the country have not been pursued in great detail. South Africa may learn lessons from other Southern African countries, namely  Zimbabwe and Namibia, that had similar land processes. Making use of a semi-systematic literature review, the article considers land redistribution  in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia through content analysis, by analysing land in terms of transition to democracy/transition to independence;  land reform, and expropriation land reform, in order to reflect on the implications that expropriationbased land reform has had in these countries. The article considers the lessons learnt from Zimbabwe that have raised concerns by those who are against land expropriation without  compensation, and those who believe that it will not result in a new dawn for the country. However, the 2019 Draft Expropriation Bill contextualises land expropriation and compensation in South Africa that is aligned with the Property Clause of the Constitution. Hence, the evaluation of South African legislation that accommodates expropriation-based land reform and planning legislation that could be utilised to address the land issue and spatial inequality. This highlights that proper legislation and effective spatial planning can be considered, in order to address land reform in South Africa. 

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Published
2019-12-11
Section
Articles