International comparative study of strategies for settlement support provision to land reform beneficiaries
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The provision of sound planning and adequate settlement support within land reform has the potential to make a profound impact on the livelihoods of many South Africans. However, the process of providing settlement support is a layered and complex one and has few local precedents to guide it. It is therefore of value to reflect on the attempts made to address land and agrarian reform, and the associated support strategies deployed, in other countries and to draw lessons from these where appropriate. This paper provides some insights into international experience and attempts to distil the key areas of strategic value for consideration in developing a national strategy for support provision to land reform beneficiaries in South Africa. Many recent land reform programmes (more specifically, those under the market-based approach which came to the fore internationally during the 1990s) have tended to focus on land acquisition and less on the requisite settlement support that accompanies it. In many instances, land acquisition is a highly-charged political process, with the emphasis on changing land ownership patterns and less on what occurs thereafter. As Moyo (2000) suggests, restructuring land ownership patterns, quite apart from the subsequent use of land, is the starting point in land and agrarian reforms. The international literature therefore tends to highlight struggles around the acquisition of land and provides less information on developments in the post-acquisition phase. Furthermore, many of the international examples include settlement support as an integral component of the reform process from the outset, making it more difficult to identify a distinct post-acquisition support process.