About the book:
‘Vivid and original, this book takes a magnificent sweep across time and space, to show just how land matters and always has.’ – Professor Ruth Hall, Institute for Poverty, Land
and Agrarian Studies, University of the Western Cape
‘An excellent book that ought to be a hugely influential contribution to the debate about ownership of the land.’ – John Laband, author of The Land Wars
In Land Matters, Tembeka Ngcukaitobi tackles the past, present and future of the land question in South Africa. Going back in history, he shows how Africans’ communal systems of landownership
were used by colonial rulers to deny that Africans owned the land at all. He explores the effects of the Land Acts, Bantustans and forced removals. And he evaluates the ANC’s policies on land throughout the struggle years, during the negotiations of the 1990s, and in government.
Land Matters unpacks the government’s achievements and failures in land redistribution, restitution and tenure reform, and makes suggestions for what needs to be done in future. The book also explores the power of chiefs, the tension between communal landownership and the desire for private title, the failure of the willing-seller, willing-buyer approach, women and land reform, the role of banks, and the debates around amending the Constitution.
Steering clear of the simplistic and polarising terms of the land debate, Ngcukaitobi argues for a return to the nuanced constitutional requirements of justice and equity in South Africa’s land policy. Thoughtful and provocative, Land Matters sheds light on one of the most topical, complex and urgent issues in South Africa today.