Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Book
Title Law, land reform and responsibilisation
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Publisher Pretoria University Law Press (PULP)
Country/State South Africa
URL http://www.pulp.up.ac.za/pdf/2015_03/2015_03.pdf
It is back as part of the prime time news bulletin: ‘People of country X are
agitating for access to farmland in their country. Government is yet to
respond’. There are variations, but the gist of such news item is the call for
land reform. But what is land reform? Land reform – however
conceptualised – continues to dominate debate in development discourse.
Indeed, at the turn of the 1990s, there emerged what was referred to as the
‘new wave’ of land reform which has been cross-spatial and pervasive in
Africa, Asia and Latin America. This ‘new wave’ of land reform
supposedly adopted a ‘human-centred’ approach with a decentred focus on
economic growth as a measurement of (national) development.1 The ‘new
wave’ is really part of a continuum. In sub-Saharan Africa, for instance,
land reform has been omnipresent in various shades since the onset of
informal imperialism and the entrenchment of European domination on
the continent under the new imperialism period.2 The impetus for land
reform in postcolonial Africa has been multifarious. This has included the
desire to address the historically situated problem of access to available
arable land for the land deprived; the eradication of impoverishment; the
guarantee of food security; and the assurance of economically efficient
land use for the growth of the colonial, and later, postcolonial economies.

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