Learning from complexity

The Legal Entity Assessment Project (LEAP) together with Urban LandMark and PLAAS organised a two day workshop which brought together researchers and tenure practitioners to reflect on research findings and practice.

Cases presented are sumarised below.

Case Studies:

Ben Cousins

Msinga. Land tenure and administration – Communal land /Land reform farms. Traditional ideal vs social change. Women’s land rights

Lauren Royston

San Jose, bad buildings, Jhb. Local practices of  unofficial land management, and changes during re-location: inclusion, exclusion and governance.

Tessa Cousins

Craigieburn, Bushbuckridge. Land and natural resource tenure and governance –including wetlands, clay mine and brick factory.

Rosalie Kingwill

Fingo village and Rabula. Title and local adaptation over many years

Processes to secure tenure: emerging problems and questions:

Josette Cole

New Crossroads:  Uneven titling in a township – struggles and implications for people

Siyabu Manona    

Sterkspruit. Small rural town adjoining communal areas – limited tenure options available – need for alternatives

Margot Rubin

Land registration cases : some local practices – implications for formalisation (Kennedy Rd, Hangberg, Folweni, Mandela informal settlement, Motala Heights)

Proposals and new thinking:

Sindiso Mnisi

Living customary law and tenure

Lauren Royston & Gemey Abrahams

ULM – an  incremental approach to informal settlement upgrading, plus City of Johannesburg example

Reflections on the Sterkspruit case

Siyabu Manona's case study on Sterkspuit - a small town in the Eastern Cape highlighted the inadequacy of current measures to secure the tenure of poor urban and rural households.

It was  reported that despite the passing of a community resolution in terms of the Interim Protection of Informal Land Rights Act (IPILRA) under the supervision of DRDLR officials,  where the community clearly voted for tenure upgrading, traditional leaders continue to allocate land informally in a bid to create a blockage to the upgrade.  Allegedly they have started to allocate land in water courses, under electricity cables, in places that are unserviceable, on pavements and even blocking roads. 

The municipality lacks capacity and know how to deal with these. At the same time the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform who is the owner of the land,  also lacks policy direction and capacity to enforce the IPLRA resolution.

The case highlights how the passing of legislation is only the first step towards the securing of rights. Currently IPILRA lacks regulations to guide officials on its implementation. At the same time the leaked draft of the Green paper appears to be silent on such critically important measures. This relegates the poor to a legal and policy vacuum where despite legislation to protect the rights of vulnerable households there appears to be no political will, capacity or budget to enforce the law.

This highlights the urgent need for regulatory impact assessment, first mooted by the Presidency and Treasury in 2005 which could go some way to safeguard against the passing of laws without there being an assessment of what is required to implement them.

But the Sterkspruit case (and the other cases presented at the workshop) indicates the importance of such workshops and the need for a more thorough going community of practice to enable researchers, practitioners and tenure rights advocates to begin to find practical ways to share knowledge and experience and engage with the complexity to secure essential rights

Sterkspruit - intersecting urban and rural
Sterkspruit - intersecting urban and rural
Posted: 12/6/2010 (3:45:34 AM)

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