Examining women’s access to rural land in UMnini Trust traditional area of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa



rural women, land, access, exclusion, customary laws, legislation and policies, traditional leaders


This article examines land tenure reform in South Africa with a focus on women in the rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal. Using the case study of UMnini  Trust Traditional Area, it critically analyses the extent to which current land reform programmes address gender disparities – especially equal  access  to land and secure land rights by women. In order to provide an insight into this issue, this study used both secondary and primary data sources. The major findings emanating from this study suggest that land remains an emotive issue in rural South Africa, especially among women  who are side-lined by government intervention measures. Previous policies and legislations that purposefully neglected and isolated women as  beneficiaries of any developmental initiatives are still very much entrenched in contemporary society. The article concludes by recommending for redesigning as well as implementing policies and legislations that are accommodative of women’s plight as far as access to land and security of tenure is concerned. 


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