Land and Human Settlements

The question of access to land and its ownership remains one of the most contested issues in South Africa. The ANC government has repeatedly promised to tackle land restitution, but its attempts so far have lacked proper planning and follow-up: many beneficiaries lack the necessary experience, capital and resources to use land effectively. Perceived threats to security of property are economically risky, and may also impact on food security and rural development. Politically, the electoral success of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which campaigned in the 2014 general election on a platform of land and resource nationalization, will mean that issues of land reform remain high on the policy agenda.

Housing and urbanization are also pressing issues. Every city, and many provincial towns, is experiencing a lack of public housing, and even the impressive provision of some 2 million RDP houses since 1994 has not met the demand. Informal settlements continue to grow, giving rise to a variety of social challenges – disease, overcrowding, environmental degradation, and domestic breakdown.

Sub-themes:

  1. Land Restitution and Redistribution
  2. Traditional Land Tenure
  3. Urban Development
  4. Rural Development
  5. Land Invasions and Evictions