Rural development and land reform
The implementation of rural development is expected to result
in vibrant, equitable and sustainable rural communities and
food security for all. The essence of such a community would
be measured through:
- food security
- rapid and sustained economic growth
- intellectual development
- environmental sustainability
- healthy rural communities
- political maturity
- social stability and growth
- self-reliant and confident communities
- fairness in line with the Bill of Rights
- social cohesion.
With the introduction of government's outcomes-based approach, the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform has revised its 2010/13 Strategic Plan to take into
account the need to create vibrant, equitable and sustainable rural communities, including food security. The outcome is linked to five outputs, which are all pertinent to the department's work and which have been integrated into its strategic goals.
These are: sustainable agrarian reform with
a thriving small and large farming sector; improved access to affordable and diverse food; improved rural services to support sustainable livelihoods; rural job creation linked to skills training and promoting economic livelihoods; and an enabling institutional environment for sustainable and
The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform’s strategy to achieve sustainable rural development is “agrarian
transformation”. It will focus on establishing rural business
initiatives, cooperatives, cultural initiatives, agro-industries
and rural settings; empowering rural people and communities
(especially women and the youth); and upgrading economic,
social, information and communications infrastructure and
public amenities and facilities in villages and small rural towns.
Did you know?
In 2011, the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, working with partners from the public and private sectors, intervened in areas which had been hit by natural disasters – lightning, flash floods and thunderstorms – by providing emergency houses using steel and sandbag technologies, as well as accessories such as gel stoves, solar lights, solar
radios and lightning conductors.
These interventions go a long way in assisting affected households
to recover and give government an opportunity to pilot new
ways to help vulnerable households.
Another challenge is access to clean, piped water for rural
communities. The department has revived existing boreholes and drilled eight new ones in Limpopo.
Elsewhere in the country, the department, working with its national, provincial and local counterparts, facilitated the installation of 400 rainwater-harvesting tanks; constructed a water reservoir in Msinga, KwaZulu-Natal; drilled and equipped boreholes; had a water reservoir under construction in Disake, North West; and a 37-km water pipeline from the Orange River to Riemvasmaak, Northern Cape, was nearing completion.
Comprehensive Rural Development Programme(CRDP)
During 2009, the South African Government conceptualised the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP) [PDF].
The key thrust of the CRDP framework is an integrated
programme of rural development, land reform and agrarian
change, with a strategic focus on social cohesion and
The CRDP is premised on three phases:
- Phase One, which
focuses on meeting basic human needs
- Phase Two, which
has large-scale infrastructure development as drive
- Phase Three, with the emergence of rural industrial and credit
financial sectors, which is driven by small, medium and microenterprises
and village markets.
By October 2011, the CRDP was being implemented at 65 sites across the country. Some 33 560 ha of agricultural land had been acquired to provide emerging farmers with
access to land. Some 116 farms have been recapitalised
by providing funds for, among other things, infrastructure, mechanisation, seeds, livestock and the transfer of skills by commercial farmers to enhance the productivity of transferred farms.
In each area where the CRDP is being implemented, a new vibrancy has been created around working together, involving communities, the three spheres of government and
the private sector. This has enabled communities to mobilise resources from all sectors of government to enhance delivery.
The department has implemented the CRDP in 21 sites
throughout South Africa and aims to roll this out to 160 sites
by 2014. Lessons learnt from these CRDP sites indicate that
the challenges in rural areas include:
- underutilisation and/or
unsustainable use of natural resources
- poor or lack of access
to socio-economic and cultural infrastructure and services,
public amenities and facilities and government services
of access to clean water or lack of water resources for both
household and agricultural development
- low literacy, skills
levels and migratory labour practices
- decay of the social
- unexploited opportunities in agriculture, tourism,
mining and manufacturing.
In each area where the CRDP is being implemented, a new
vibrancy has been created around working together, involving
communities, the three spheres of government and the private
sector. This has enabled communities to mobilise resources
from all sectors of government to enhance delivery.
An inclusive CRDP stakeholder participation model has
been developed in the form of the Council of Stakeholders. This council
functions as a partner in planning, implementation and
monitoring. Through this inclusive body, communities
themselves have become central to their own development.
Through the work undertaken at the CRDP sites, and in
conjunction with fellow departments at national, provincial
and local government level, the Department of Rural
Development and Land Reform erected infrastructure such
as housing, water, sanitation, pack-sheds, community halls,
multipurpose centres, fencing, early childhood development
centres, satellite police stations and renovated schools and
The department initiated a new youth skills development
and employment programme, the National Rural Youth Service
Corps [PDF]. The main goal is to develop a cadre of young community
paraprofessionals and artisans who will take responsibility for
the development of their own communities.
Four young people, of whom one must be a person with
a disability, are expected to be enlisted into the programme
from each of the 2 872 rural wards. At least 50% of these must
The contractual period, including the training period is 24
months. This process will lead to the employment and skilling
of almost 12 000 youths, of whom almost 3 000 should be
youth with disabilities.
In its initial phase, it enlisted 7 958 young people between 18 and 35 years old, with a minimum educational standard of Grade 10. They were drawn from rural wards across
the country, including farms, small rural towns and some peri-urban areas.
Of these, 600 have gone through 10 days of training in self-orientation and life skills through further education and training colleges and 500 have gone through two months of non-military training, mainly character development, personal discipline and patriotism. Each one receives a stipend of R60 a day, which will be increased as they receive high-level skills training.
Did you know?
A self-empowerment project initiated five years ago is improving the lives of 600 women in Swayimane, a disadvantaged rural community in KwaZulu-Natal. Through the Zimele (meaning"I am self-reliant" in isiZulu) Self-Help and Savings Programme,
a non-profit organisation that seeks to improve the quality of life in KwaZulu-Natal's rural areas, the women were able to start small businesses.
They were able to save more than R170 000 over the five years of the scheme's existence. Together with loans amounting to R292 932, the savings fund bankrolled the women's enterprises such as businesses in agriculture, crafts, retail and catering.
The introduction of the CRDP [PDF], of which land reform is
an integral part, has necessitated that the approach be
overhauled and new strategies adopted. While achieving
equitable distribution of land remains a fundamental policy of
government, there is an even more urgent need to ensure
that land reform is measured not only through equity but also
through productivity, leading to enhanced food security for all,
job creation and skills training among beneficiaries.
In 2011, the Land Reform Programme had a target of 283 592 ha for the acquisition of strategically located land and a target of 504 farms was set for developing farms in distress through recapitalisation and development. The programme has transferred 322 844,9931 ha, equalling 288 projects and provided access to land to 3 089 beneficiaries through either leases or caretakership agreements.
Of the total number of delivered hectares, 276 396,6893 ha were registered in the name of the State and the remaining 46 448,3038 ha were transferred through Land Redistribution for Agricultural Development to finalise the commitments the department
had at the time of the shift from grants-based land reform to the Pro-Active Land Acquisition Strategy.
In August 2011, Cabinet received the Green Paper on Land Reform [PDF], 2011 for public comment. The thrust of the Green Paper is based on the view that:
- separate rural development and land reform be aligned at policy programme and institutional levels to ensure coordinated service delivery
- in pursuit of agrarian transformation, there is a link between the land question and agriculture as the basis for the search for an economic rationale and a vision of a post-reform agrarian structure.
The demand for land may also be for other productive but non-agricultural uses. The change agenda pursued in the Green Paper is to create a new trajectory for land reform. A set of proposals is put forward, which attempts to break from the past without significantly disrupting agricultural production and food security, and to avoid redistributions that do not generate livelihoods, employment and incomes.
The Green Paper focuses on seven key areas, namely:
- a vision for land reform
- principles underlying land reform
- current challenges and weaknesses: rationale for change
- an improved trajectory for land reform (including institutions
to support land reform)
- the strategic thrust for land reform
- land-reform experiences elsewhere
- challenges and constraints.
The department is working on a number of policy initiatives over the medium term.
The Green Paper on Agrarian Transformation, Rural Development and Land Reform had been gazetted by May 2011, followed by a White Paper that was expected to be
submitted to Cabinet in 2012.
The department is proposing a three-tiered system of land
ownership in South Africa. The three tiers will be:
- state land, which will be under leasehold
- private land, which will be held under freehold with limited
- foreign ownership, with precarious tenure linked to productivity
and partnership models with South African citizens.
Did you know?
Indigenous people in South Africa have sustained their unique world views and associated knowledge systems for millennia,
even while undergoing major social upheaval as a result of forces beyond their control.
Many of the core values, beliefs
and practices associated with those world views have survived and are beginning to be recognised as having an adaptive integrity that
is as valid for today's generations as it was for the past generations. The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, through the Chief Directorate: Technology, Research and Development, has embarked on an awareness campaign on indigenous knowledge at Comprehensive Rural Development Programme sites in the nine provinces.
The awareness campaign primarily seeks to recognise, collect, document, restore and exhibit indigenous knowledge systems (IKS), to protect, preserve and promote their existence. The project also intends to empower rural communities in ways through which they can improve their socio-economic status using IKS, such as patenting
and commercialising their IKS products and instilling pride in
their use of IKS. The awareness workshops consist of traditional activities such as music, dance, poetry and African cuisine.
The Redistribution Programme is largely implemented through
the Provision of Land and Assistance Act, 1993 [PDF].
By 2010, 5,9 million ha of land had been acquired through
redistribution and restitution.
The tenure issues of millions of South Africans living and
working on farms, and in communal areas and small rural
towns remain a challenge for government.
Recapitalisation and development
The Recapitalisation and Development Programme is aimed at resuscitating all distressed land-reform projects implemented since 1994. In 2010/11, the department had planned to develop 504 farms in distress. It advertised 852 projects and 411 farms were selected for recapitalisation and development. Irrigation systems were installed in Boschhoek, Igalelo and at Nxamalala in Msinga in KwaZulu-Natal.
The department worked with its stakeholders towards revitalising seven defunct irrigation schemes at an estimated cost of R370 million. This project was expected to be implemented in 2011/12. It is envisaged that this programme will contribute a great deal to improving food security in the country.
By August 2011, the Recapitalisation and Development
Programme had been implemented at 171 farms across the
country, creating at least 1 316 permanent jobs and 2 724 short-term employment opportunities.
The department aims to provide value-added public land information and support services to clients and to ensure the efficient administration of state land.
The department aims to provide tenure security that creates socio-economic opportunities for people on farms and in communal areas to ensure vibrant and sustainable
communities characterised by social cohesion and
Geo-spatial services, technology development and disaster management
The department is responsible for the national control survey network, the national mapping and aerial imagery programmes and the provision of geospatial information
Cadastral survey management
The Cadastral Survey Management Branch aims to provide
efficient cadastral survey-management services and
cadastral information services in support of land delivery and
The 10 deeds registries are located in Pretoria, Cape Town,
Johannesburg, Pietermaritzburg, Bloemfontein, Kimberley,
King William's Town, Vryburg, Mthatha and Nelspruit.
offices register deeds and documents relating to real rights
in more than eight million registered land parcels consisting
of township erven, farms, agricultural holdings, sectional
title units and sectional title exclusive-use areas. This is done in terms of
the Deeds Registries Act, 1937 [PDF] and the Sectional Titles Act,
Deeds registration has progressively introduced e-Cadastre, which is aimed at improving cadastral surveys management and deeds registration as well as the consolidation of data stores.
By 31 March 2011, a total of 904 928 deeds and documents had been registered countrywide.
The e-Cadastre Project's enterprise architecture investigation, which is aimed at consolidating cadastral surveys and deeds registration data stores, has been concluded. Digital scanning of the microfilm records has commenced.
Commission on the Restitution of Land
The Commission on the Restitution of Land
Rights is a statutory body set up in terms of the Restitution
of Land Rights Act, 1994 [PDF], as amended. The role of the
commission is to provide redress to victims of dispossession
of rights in land, as a result of racially discriminatory laws and
practices that took place after 19 June 1913.
The CRLR settled 457 claims between April 2010 and March 2011, benefiting 13 310 households. Consequently, 124 507 260 ha were restored and the cost of land paid
amounted to over R800 million. The financial compensation
paid to beneficiaries was over R460 million.