Making co-ownership work?: helping land reform beneficiaries access land and financial resources through equity sharing in South Africa

Making co-ownership work?: helping land reform beneficiaries access land and financial resources through equity sharing in South Africa

How effective are Farm Worker Equity Share Schemes (FWES) effective in redistributing land in South Africa?

This brief paper argues that through co-ownership, co-operatives offer a significant pathway for poor beneficiaries to secure land, wealth and financial resources - with benefits being augmented through sound institutions, human capital development and grant support.

In reviewing Farm Worker Equity Share (FWES) schemes the authors recommend a combination of institutional practices that can be used to enhance Farm Worker Equity Share schemes; some of these include:

  • operating the scheme like a company with voting and benefit rights tradable and proportional to individual investment.
  • not diluting workers’ interests through transferring of shares to non-workers as a result of bequests or sales to outsiders.
  • Involving workers in the design of the FWES and its operating rules.
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