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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Whither agrarian reform in South Africa?
Author:Jacobs, PeterISNI
Periodical:Review of African Political Economy (ISSN 0305-6244)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:agricultural policy
agrarian reform
Abstract:Advocates of pro-poor agrarian reform question whether shifts in South Africa's official agrarian policy, which began with the dramatic ANC leadership battle that took place between 2007 and 2009, will translate into meaningful improvements in rural living standards. Two questions which dominate this debate are addressed in the present paper: do recent changes in agrarian policies demonstrate a clean break from government's pre-2009 agrarian policies? And, to what extent does the 'new' agrarian policy fulfil the aspirations of small farmers and farm workers? The paper concludes that the conceptual substance of the new agrarian transformation rhetoric touted by ANC politicians is questionable. New policies that purport to deliver a so-called equitable agrarian landscape adhere tenaciously to post-1994 neoliberal agrarian thinking. The government's ambitious rural service-delivery proposals rest on a mix of bureaucratic, cost-recovery and privatization principles that contradict lofty goals to uplift rural living standards. Limited to minor reforms, the 2011 Green Paper on Land Reform falls short of the 2007-2009 rhetoric which pointed towards a possible break with the failed neoliberal land reform model. It fits within the framework imposed by the investor-friendly constitution and associated macroeconomic policies, making it a blueprint for uneven development. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]