Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version



Robert T. Jensen


Since the end of apartheid in South Africa, land tenure reform has been discussed ceaselessly as a critical action to restore lasting inequities from the nation’s segregated history. In recent months, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has introduced a proposal for a constitutional amendment supporting expropriation without compensation, stirring controversy and revolt throughout the country and across the globe. As questions continue to rise regarding the value of land reform and best practices for implementation, this paper identifies the relevant stakeholders in the debate over land reform and details the potential impacts of a redistributive mandate. Broadly speaking, this paper identifies four primary opportunities for impact from effective land reform: economic, social, political and environmental. Through critical analysis, this paper finds that land reform provides exceptional opportunity for post-apartheid South Africa, though the present-day proposal of Ramaphosa may need revision to ensure long-term efficacy.


land tenure reform, land reform, land tenure, South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, post-apartheid reform, apartheid, Land Act of 1913, dispossession, expropriation without compensation, African National Congress, Economic Freedom Fighters



Date Posted: 18 September 2018


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