Ownership and assets
African governments should have a fresh look at agriculture as part of the economic recovery plan after Covid-19
The Covid-19 pandemic presents an opportunity for African governments to relook agriculture as part of the economic recovery plan. A new approach should embrace technology (information technology, mechanical and biotechnology) and private-sector partnerships, as well as the improvement in land governance through the extension of title deeds or long-term, tradeable leases. South Africa presents some examples, particularly on technological advancement, which African countries can emulate.
Renewed emphasis in policy discourses on systematic land titling to solve insecure tenure in South Africa is understandable. A staggering two thirds of the citizenry hold off-register land rights. Converting these rights to title deeds may seem self-evident, but our research reveals major stumbling blocks. For a system of land records to succeed, its design must take into account well understood and familiar local and customary processes for holding, using and transmitting land in urban and rural areas.
How did hunger levels in the former homelands catch up with the rest of South Africa? A hundred years after the Land Act of 1913
A century after the Land Act of 1913, and 20 years after the abolition of homelands, differences in poverty persist between the former homeland areas and the rest of South Africa. However, remarkably, hunger gaps between the former homelands and other regions have been eliminated in the post-apartheid era. The main cause has been the disproportionately high number of persons eligible for social grants in the former homelands, rather than increased food production or higher labour market incomes due to land reform.