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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Privatisation and the dispossession of land in Namaqualand
Author:Steyn, L.
Periodical:South African Review - SARS
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:land law
communal lands
Abstract:Following the privatization of land in the reserves of South Africa in the 1980s, land that had been communally farmed in three of Namaqualand's coloured rural areas, Leliefontein, Steinkopf and Richtersveld, was divided into 'economic' units which were leased out to individuals by the central government. This pushed the majority of people with communal sowing and grazing rights off most of the land, forcing them to use units that had not been leased out and the small commonage around their settlements. After a short description of the Namaqualand reserves and their formation, the author explains the origins of the privatization scheme, namely the view that communal farming was backward and outdated and that the reserves should be opened to farmers who wanted to farm commercially. Then he examines the effects of the privatization scheme on the three reserves. Since the system of economic units was declared invalid by the courts, for reasons of procedure, land has been reoccupied. The residents are aware that the land has to be protected from overgrazing and that some habits of the past will have to change. But they believe these changes can occur without the destruction of their lifestyle.