At the crossroads: Land and agrarian reform in South Africa into the 21st century
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The land sector has always been characterised by lively and public arguments over policy, and some of the central and recurring themes of the previous five years of debate were expected to surface at the conference. One of these is whether or not the ANC has the political will to seek to radically alter agrarian power relations and the distribution of resources that underlies them. The Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) of 1994 called for a wide-ranging and redistributive land reform2, portrayed as the central driving force behind a large scale rural development programme. Since then the effective displacement of the RDP by the Growth, Employment and Redistribution strategy (GEAR) and the derisory budget for land reform since 1994/ 95 (never more than one percent of the total budget) have called this commitment into question. Is government s oft-repeated statement that it intends to eliminate rural poverty (most recently in President Mbeki s state of the nation address of February 2000) only a rhetorical gesture?