After 25 years of democracy, South Africa remains a highly unequal country with high levels of poverty and unemployment. Land reform policies have largely failed to reconfigure the inherited, highly dualistic and spatially divided agrarian structure1 . As a result, skewed land ownership patterns are a key feature of inequality in post-apartheid South Africa. At present, there are approximately 35 000 large-scale, mostly white-owned commercial farms. These commercial farms occupy the majority of the country’s commercial agricultural land and produce the bulk of the country’s marketed output. Available evidence also indicates that there are about 4 million small-scale producers, located in about 2 million households, and confined to the former homelands. Approximately 200 000 of these smallscale farmers produce for the market while the majority are engaged in farming for subsistence purposes2 . Success in land reform is predicated on the extent to which existing policies are able to reconfigure the dualistic and unequal agrarian structure to make it more inclusive and wide-ranging.
11th Dec 2021