Reforming communal land tenure in South Africa – why land titling is not the answer: Critical comments on the communal land rights bill, 2002
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The long-awaited draft Communal Land Rights Bill sets out government’s proposals to resolve urgent land tenure problems in the former ‘homeland’ areas, where most rural South Africans still live, and where land is registered in the name of the state. These problems derive from lack of adequate legal recognition of communal tenure systems, abuse by powerful elites, breakdown of the old permit-based system, and gender inequalities. They result in conflicting claims to land and bitter disputes over authority. Development efforts are severely constrained by lack of clarity on land rights, and the tensions that result. Tenure insecurity also results from the forced overcrowding of these areas under apartheid. This means that de facto rights often overlap and are in conflict.