SA Land Reform Unpacked by UKZN Academic at London ConferenceGeneral

Dr Adeoye Akinola (right) with Conference co-ordinator, Professor Joseph Bonnici.Dr Adeoye Akinola (right) with Conference co-ordinator, Professor Joseph Bonnici.

School of Management, Information Technology and Governance academic Dr Adeoye Akinola presented an assessment of South African land reform at the recent IJAS International Conference for Social Sciences and Humanities held at the University of London.

The presentation was co-authored by UKZN’s Professor Henry Wissink.

Their research was supported by the College Research Office and the NRF Travel Grants under the category of Knowledge Interchange and Collaboration.

The presentation, titled: “The Travails of Land Redistribution Policy in South Africa”, explored the convergence between the ‘demand’ and ‘want’ of land, evaluating the utility of land re-allocated to new owners in the country.

The paper acknowledged the fact that land related issues and the need for land reform have consistently occupied a unique position in policymaking and public discourse in the country since 1994,’ said Akinola.

He added that the paper achieved this by recognising the popular advocacy in support of accelerated ‘return’ of land to the original Black owners; however, the paper found some compelling reasons to question the unproductive utility of transferred land.

‘Some of the policy gaps in the land reform remain the inadequate institutional and financial support for Black beneficiaries, the absence of effective skills transfer from the ‘White’ farmers to new farmers, among others.

‘The paper concludes by advocating a decisive policy framework to enhance the productive utilisation and resettlement of the land, which is pertinent for food security, poverty alleviation and sustainable development,’ said Akinola.

Thandiwe Jumo