Land redistribution for agricultural development : an evaluation of stakeholder responses in KwaZulu-Natal.
Sekgetle, Sandra Galeiphiwe.
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The objective of this study is to research how the slow process of land redistribution in South Africa can be accelerated, given the urgency of land resettlement. A subprogramme of redistribution, Land Redistribution for Agricultural Development (LRAD), was launched by the Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs in A1.}gust 2001. A redistribution project goes through five phases (refer Appendix A for LRAD project cycle). Each phase has different steps, which is an LRAD project cycle. Firstly, the thesis analyses the project cycle - the aim was to establish how long it would take a farmer to obtain ownership of land and how the process can be expedited to settle more farmers. Secondly, it studies the role and views of stakeholders involved in the programme (such as NGOs, financial (nstitutions, design agents and governmental departments). Thirdly, it examines the performance and progress made since the implementation of the programme In KwaZulu-Natal. Lastly, the study focuses on problems and general concerns regarding the policy. Some policy recommendations on the need and performance of land redistribution in South Africa are made. The LRAD project cycle could take at least nine months or more. During this period beneficiaries cannot buy land from auctions, while some landowners are reluctant to go through with this long process, because it may not result in a land sale. Engaging property owners in the process can accelerate land delivery. In addition, government must try to streamline its policies and procedures, so that landowners who wish to sell do not perceive it to be such a serious disadvantage to engage in selling to redistribution applicants. The LRAD programme started slowly in KwaZulu-Natal and by the end of 11 April 2002, the DLA had received only 105 applications for the grant. By May 2003, out of 1 300 applications only 169 had been transferred since LRAD started. According to experience by Ithala Bank, many projects are delayed and sales collapse. Long delays are a major problem, because many projects are approved but few transferred. A recommendation is that commercial banks be given a chance to approve LRAD grants, contingent on loan approval. Extending approval powers to commercial banks has the advantage of identifying creditworthy projects quickly and accurately, as private lenders are putting their own resources at risk. Some of the problems and concerns identified around LRAD are: disposal of state land and unresolved land-claims. The Department of Land Affairs (DLA) needs to integrate the new programme with other programmes of land reform, especially in cases where different communities are competing for the same land, but through different programmes. Another problem is that the programme has missed market opportunities because landowners are reluctant to sell due to delays and uncertainty. The DLA has consistently been under-spending their budget, leading to their budget being cut. Financial assistance to farmers with no own collateral is insufficient. The farmers are not being placed in a financial position to purchase a viable farm and they will experience serious cash flow problems if maximum loans from the Land Bank are accessed. The Department of Agriculture (DoA) has postponed the training programme several times and to date it is not yet implemented. It is highly recommended that the issue of mentorship be addressed, as a matter of urgency.