Land reform: considering national, class and gender issue

The struggle for land reform in South Africa is a complex web of interrelated national, class and gender issues which arise out of the legacy of apartheid. From the perspective of the nationally and socially oppressed majority the demand for land has three basic components: it is a demand for political rights; for land on which to live; and for land on which to work. The demand for land on which to work covers a variety of interests reflecting the different positions of a stratified countryside. This article first describes how land reform is understood by the current ruling minority and by some dominant sections of monopoly capital. Then it describes land reform as seen by the democratic and political majority, which advocates the repealing of all land-related legislation and nationalization of the land. Finally, it discusses the role of commercial farming, concentrated in the hands of a tiny segment of the white minority. Transforming relations in the agrarian sector is not only about changing ownership patterns, it is also about vesting the right of administering and controlling the land in local democratic organizations and institutions. The social content of these bodies will determine to whom the land is restored. Notes, ref.

Title:Land reform: considering national, class and gender issue
Author: Marcus, Tessa
Year:1990
Periodical:South African Journal on Human Rights
Volume:6
Issue:2
Pages:178-194
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/02587203.1990.11827806
Abstract:The struggle for land reform in South Africa is a complex web of interrelated national, class and gender issues which arise out of the legacy of apartheid. From the perspective of the nationally and socially oppressed majority the demand for land has three basic components: it is a demand for political rights; for land on which to live; and for land on which to work. The demand for land on which to work covers a variety of interests reflecting the different positions of a stratified countryside. This article first describes how land reform is understood by the current ruling minority and by some dominant sections of monopoly capital. Then it describes land reform as seen by the democratic and political majority, which advocates the repealing of all land-related legislation and nationalization of the land. Finally, it discusses the role of commercial farming, concentrated in the hands of a tiny segment of the white minority. Transforming relations in the agrarian sector is not only about changing ownership patterns, it is also about vesting the right of administering and controlling the land in local democratic organizations and institutions. The social content of these bodies will determine to whom the land is restored. Notes, ref.