Elections are upon us: What do the parties offer to strengthen land reform and rural development?

In a recent article Ben Cousins acknowledged that there was evidence of a new urgency and intention to invest in improving and land reform and rural development in the ANC manifesto. However he was critical of the lack of detail and concrete proposals. This is of particular concern given the work that has been done on developing a detailed settlement and implementation support strategy for land reform over the last few years.

Cousins suggests that  the following issues need to be urgently addressed by the incoming administration:

  • Creating a new Department of Agrarian Reform, with sufficient numbers of well-trained staff
  • Revitalising agricultural training colleges and linking them more closely to extension support services
  • Area-based planning for agrarian reform that integrates the different sub-programmes (redistribution, restitution, tenure reform, small-farm support, infrastructure development)
  • Repeal of the Subdivision of Agricultural Land Act
  • Input subsidies for small-scale producers, with an emphasis on ecologically sustainable technologies and farming systems
  • Targeting farms with irrigation infrastructure for land redistribution
  • Strengthening legislation and support for the tenure rights of farm dwellers and workers.
  • Developing detailed policies through support for innovative pilots designed as learning processes.

For more information on the PLAAS critique visit their website.

Posted: 4/21/2009 (5:28:46 AM)

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