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    Hybridity emergent: Geo-history, learning, and land restitution in South Africa

    Fraser, Alistair (2007) Hybridity emergent: Geo-history, learning, and land restitution in South Africa. Geoforum, 38 (2). pp. 299-311. ISSN 0016-7185

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    Market-Led Agrarian Reform (MLAR), which is advocated by the World Bank and is being implemented in various contexts around the world, is a more neo-liberal approach to land reform than that we have seen implemented in the past. MLAR principles have underpinned South Africa’s land reform programme, being based on the ‘willing-seller, willing-buyer’ principle, which guarantees market-related prices to sellers. Evidence presented in this paper, however, raises serious questions about the extent to which the South African government has held on to MLAR principles. Specifically, the paper argues that South Africa’s peculiar geo-historical context has in some instances led the government to fuse market-led approaches with more authoritarian interventions that dictate to land reform beneficiaries how the land will be used. A case in point is the government’s approach to the restitution of land rights to communities dispossessed from the Levubu area of Limpopo province. As the paper illustrates, the government has imposed on the intended beneficiaries a so-called ‘strategic partnership’ between them and agribusinesses. Although the government touts the approach as a way to protect the commercial viability of the land and to transfer skills from white farmers to the beneficiaries, the terms of the Levubu solution may turn out to be less than favourable for the beneficiaries.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: South Africa; Restitution; Land reform; Limpopo;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
    Item ID: 6506
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Alistair Fraser
    Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2015 10:22
    Journal or Publication Title: Geoforum
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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