Working towards these commitments
Secure Tenure Rights
Strong Small-Scale Farming Systems
Diverse Tenure Systems
Equal land rights for women
Secure territorial rights for Indigenous Peoples
Transparent and accessible information
Effective actions against land grabbing
To address unresolved and emerging issues on land governance in South Africa, various
stakeholders and partners met in a workshop on the 28th and 29th September 2018 in
Johannesburg to establish a Multi-Stakeholder Platform on the Voluntary Guidelines on the
Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National
Food Security (VGGTs). The civil society organisations (CSOs) engagement space also created
to enable a strengthening of civil society for land advocacy. This process culminated in South
African NES formulation which was finalised in 2018 with the development of a country strategy
focusing on the three priority areas of land, forest and fisheries, as well as the inclusion of social
movements and national alliances.
WHAT IS THE OBJECTIVE?
The overarching strategic goal of the NES South Africa is to realise equitable, inclusive, and
participatory land governance, and effective land administration that specifically enhances
women’s land rights.
WHAT ACTIONS DO WE TAKE?
NES South Africa focuses on three priority areas:
- Redistribution to create land equity (Getting access to land - “Get It!”). This focus on land
redistribution with focus on women, fishers, farm workers, labor tenants and informal
- Effective Land Administration (“Keep It!”). This focus on institutional changes to achieve
an effective land administration system accommodating diverse tenure rights.
- Small-scale farmers and fishers, creating an enabling environment for them to succeed
(“Use It!”). This focus on effective policies and proper implementation of such policies for
the benefit of small-scale farmers and fisheries which are gender inclusive.
- COMMITTED TO MONITOR LAND GOVERNANCE BY USING LANDEX TOOL
26 delegates from civil societies, academia, the private sector and government completed their LANDex training. The training allowed them to understand how the land monitoring tool has been used successfully in other countries such as Colombia, Nepal and Senegal. Participants learned how to use LANDex and agreed to adapt the land monitoring tool to South Africa's context.
- GIVE GRASSROOTS COMMUNITIES MORE INFLUENCE ON LAND POLICY THROUGH NEW LANDNNES PLATFORM
In 2018, the new platform Land Network National Engagement Strategy in South Africa (LandNNES), supported members and their grassroots level communities to attend public hearings held by the President’s Advisory Panel on Land and Agriculture. As a result, LandNNES members were included on discussion panels to debate the need to review the country’s Redistribution policy. LandNNES members interacted with a range of Government Departments and Ministers. They were also given an opportunity to critique proposals for urban and rural tenure and the need for an overarching Land Governance policy as well as an integrated land administration system. The occasion allowed LandNNES to promote its credibility and work within a diverse policy environment consisting of government, private entities and civil society organisations.
While South Africa’s first Democratic Government, elected in 1994, had a clearly articulated
vision for pro-poor land reform aimed at redressing dispossession and creating more equitable
land distribution, amongst other objectives, South Africa now has a complex, confusing, and
increasingly incoherent legislative and policy framework regarding land.
Section 25 of South Africa’s Constitution, known as the ‘Property Clause’, extends and protects
land and property rights, and allows for expropriation of land. Sections 25(5), (6), (7) and (9)
guarantee (a) equitable access to land though redistribution and (b) restitution to those whose
rights were historically dispossessed as a result of radical discrimination. However,
implementation has not been equal to intention.
There is widespread dissatisfaction that these rights are not being adequately promoted, enforced and protected, and land redistribution has not been effectively implemented. The land reform programme has been highly flawed, slow, and ineffectual. A particular defect has been a lack of support for rural land distribution to smallholder land users. Also, urban land allocation has been poor and has not met the rising rate of urbanisation.