Governance of land in South Africa and the fallacious Bantustan urbanisation

Type Journal Article - Bangladesh e-Journal of Sociology
Title Governance of land in South Africa and the fallacious Bantustan urbanisation
Volume 16
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2019
URL of Land in South Africa16.1.pdf
Land governance has historically been contested due to its intricate connections with occupancy and settlement. For Africa, the latter phenomena have involved emotive issues of colonialism and land expropriation that came to define the access to means of capitalist production and/or absence thereof. For this reason, Africa is now synonymous with the ironic continent of mineral and biodiversity wealth amidst millions of socially excluded and impoverished people. Theoretically, the concept of extraverted subjugation invokes the idea of Africans themselves participating in the use of land resources in discriminatory ways that perpetuated enduring societal inequalities. In tribal societies, whose land governance was defined by traditional authority, such contestations have tended to be deep and volatile as part of the specific breed of accumulation and, to a large extent, capitalist development. The paper argues that land governance in a democratic South Africa’s tribal non-urban settlements has simultaneously sustained the old standing fallacious Bantustan urbanisation. Populations therein, largely Black Africans, have remained estranged from territorial, socio-economic and
substantive land ownerships. The persistence of communal tenure system has meant that the populations in tribal non-urban settlements would be denied access to four of the seven basic institutions of democracy, which are: access to alternatives, independent sources of information, autonomous associations and inclusive citizenship.To this extent, the paper concludes that the state has abrogated its constitutional mandate of ensuring that the right to substantive land ownership is realised by all, especially the Black Africans. The paper recommends that the communal landholding system needs to be reconstructed because it serves to deny the majority of Black Africans their fundamental rights to territorial, socio-economic and substantive land ownership.

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