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Research Report 38: Land reform in South Africa: A status report 2008

by Lahiff E in 2008

This report surveys the state of land reform in South African between 2005 and early 2008, focussing  primarily on land redistribution. Redistribution was considered an appropriate focus for many reasons, including that the state had set and reported on few other concrete targets with respect to land reform. Redistribution, while always central to South Africa’s land reform, appeared to have reached a critical juncture, in terms of changes in the redistribution programme,  attention  given within restitution to  restoring high-value agricultural land,  setting ambitious new targets and talk of greater use of expropriation. By early 2008, several factors were converging that suggested land reform (especially land redistribution) was moving up the political agenda and might be entering a dramatic new phase.