Revisiting unresolved questions: land, food and agriculture
This article explores three articles from the perspective of 2011. They are Makhosazane Gcabashe and Alan Mabin’s ‘Preparing to negotiate the land question’ (Transformation 11), Tom Bennett’s ‘Human rights and the African cultural tradition’ (Transformation 22) and Henry Bernstein’s ‘Food security in a democratic South Africa’ (Transformation 24). The author focuses on four themes: the politics of negotiations; the location of ‘rights’ in land and to custom; the political economy of agrarian change; and the multiple facets of the ‘land question’. In conclusion, it draws attention to enduring questions about how to confront agrarian dualism, dynamics of changing and deepening inequality in the countryside, tensions between the logic underpinning land and agricultural policies, and the need to recast agrarian change in a wider frame, in recognition of the profound ways in which what happens in South Africa’s rural areas are part of regional and global dynamics.