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What landmark KwaZulu-Natal court ruling means for land reform in South Africa

By Ben Cousins In a landmark judgment a South African high court has declared that people living on customary land in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, notionally held in trust by the Ingonyama (king) of the Zulu people, are the “true and beneficial owners” of that land. It confirms that the Ingonyama Trust Board is not the real owner of this land. It, therefore, cannot…
PLAAS
June 28, 2021
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The ‘silent’ dispossession of customary land rights holders for urban development in Zimbabwe

By Phillan Zamchiya, Owen Dhliwayo, Cynthia Gwenzi and Claris Madhuku The dominance of and preoccupation with the radical repossession of largely white-owned commercial farms – since 2000 – for reallocation to millions of black families, although very important, has occluded attention to contradictory but silent processes of state-led dispossession of black communities living under communal tenure systems in Zimbabwe’s rural…
PLAAS
June 21, 2021
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Zambia’s new customary tenure relations and implications for women and policy

By Phillan Zamchiya, Jesinta Kunda, Elias Simbeye and Dyless Mbewe New customary tenure relations that transcend the dualism between statutory and idealised customary systems as officially reflected in land policies are emerging in Zambia. What is driving this process? What are the new features? Who are the winners and the losers? What are the wider benefits and challenges that can…
PLAAS
June 18, 2021
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Small-scale food traders squeezed under Covid

By Nduduzo Majozi and Nkanyiso Gumede Although many supermarkets made significant profits during South Africa’s hard lockdown, business was harder for informal vendors and bakkie traders in Pietermaritzburg whose incomes fell dramatically, write Nduduzo Majozi and Nkanyiso Gumede The Maharaj’s fruit and vegetable shop is a family business which has been in existence for more than 50 years. Started by…
PLAAS
June 11, 2021
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More than just land: Andries du Toit reviews Land Matters by Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi

By Andries du Toit Andries du Toit reviews Land Matters: South Africa’s Failed Land Reforms and the Road Ahead by Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi Do we really need more books about South Africa’s Land question?  In the last few years, the political crisis around expropriation without compensation has already generated  a  fair bit of reading material: Finding Common Ground by Wandile…
PLAAS
May 28, 2021
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Lost seasons for small-scale fishers during Covid-19

By Maia Nangle The geelstert (yellowtail) is a favourite, much consumed fish in South African households, as well as an important source of annual income for small-scale fishing families and communities across the country. Fisherfolk nationwide, including from communities in Gansbaai and Ysterfontein in the Western Cape, travel to Struisbaai near the tip of the Cape Peninsula to harvest this…
PLAAS
May 28, 2021
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How Covid-19 regulations affected commercially oriented smallholder farmers in uMgungundlovu in South Africa

By Nkanyiso Gumede The South African government’s bias towards the corporate food system during hard lockdown left many South Africans vulnerable to hunger and food insecurity, and resulted in lost income. Most South Africans rely on supermarkets for food. Most of the food in the supermarkets is sourced from large-scale commercial farmers. Meanwhile, the country’s many smallholder farmers have limited…
PLAAS
May 17, 2021