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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Poverty, Agrarian Reform, and Capacity Building in South Africa
Authors:Eicher, Carl K.
Rukuni, Mandivamba
Periodical:African Rural and Urban Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:rural development
national plans
Economics and Trade
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
Politics and Government
Abstract:This paper contributes to the debate on the role of agriculture and rural economic development in the new South Africa, raises questions about agriculture's ambiguous role in the 1994 Rural Development Programme (RDP) and draws insights from the development experience of other nations. The paper is based on discussions with scholars over the past few years and a visit to South Africa in 1995. The thesis of the paper is that the implementation of the RDP strategy may turn out to be a false start for the new South Africa. There are striking parallels between the development strategy of many new nations in the sixties and South Africa's RDP of the nineties. The RDP's emphasis on social services, housing, industrialization, maintaining commercial farms and moving cautiously on land redistribution is a politically attractive short-run strategy. However, in the long run, it may not generate a high enough economic growth rate and sufficient rural jobs to moderate rural-to-urban migration and maintain social and political stability. The South African government needs a new development vision which broadens and refocuses the RDP on both the immediate and long-run problems of land redistribution, smallholder farming, rural economic development programmes, and building a string of secondary cities, market towns and rural growth points. Bibliogr., notes, ref.