Land governance in South Africa: implementing the Land Governance Assessment Framework

Land governance in South Africa: implementing the Land Governance Assessment Framework

The Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF) is an innovative and participatory diagnostic tool that assesses the state of land governance in a country. This booklet summarises the results of the LGAF process in South Africa.

The paper indicates that the application of the LGAF in South Africa has been challenging. The country has a well-developed economy, including a well-functioning formal land market. However, informal systems, especially within the communal land areas, are steeped in oral tradition and practice.

The observations made during the LGAF process include:

  • land management involves a wide range of sectors, legislation and specialists
  • urban and rural areas are often so closely interlinked, which makes any distinction between them difficult and sometimes artificial
  • tenure in South Africa is very complex, with over 100 different tenure types

Consequently, the author suggest the following key areas for further examination:

  • improved tracking of large-scale land acquisition in Africa and its impact; tracking is currently mainly through media reports
  • the preparation of a methodology and related tools for supporting municipalities in the implementation of an incremental tenure approach
  • the development of a possible legal framework for supporting the implementation of an incremental tenure approach
  • support with the drafting of suitable legislation to enforce communal land rights

 

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