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Impact of the identification and survey of the administrative area boundaries process on the implementation of the communal land rights act: a case study of the Eastern Cape Province.

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Numerous land reform policy instruments and initiatives that have been implemented since the beginning of the 1990's are mediating the on-going battle between formal land tenure systems and informal customary land tenure arrangements. The policy instruments and initiatives seek to establish a delicate balance that will suit the diverse needs of the population of South Africa with respect to land. The enormity of this task is evident when one is faced with the reality that South Africa has the third highest Gini index (a measure of inequality in the distribution of land) in the world. The Eastern Cape Province is one of the poorest provinces in South Africa, and has been affected most by the land segregationist and homeland policies of previous colonial and apartheid regimes. It is not only the unequal distribution of land, but also the vast array of insecure tenure arrangements that have had a detrimental effect on the development and empowerment of communities resident on communal land. This research analyses one initiative that intends to strengthen the security of tenure of existing occupants of communal land in the remote rural areas of the Eastern Cape Province. The research critically appraises the Administrative Area Boundary Project of the Department of Land Affairs (that aims to identify and complete the formal surveys of all administrative area boundaries in the Eastern Cape) in the light of the intentions of the Communal Land Rights Act (No. 11 of 2004) (CLaRA), and highlights the challenges in formalising the informal tenure arrangements of occupants of communal land. The different aspects of the Administrative Area Boundary Project (both office work and field work) were evaluated in order to determine not only its feasibility, but also its impact as an effective instrument of land reform in its endeavour to provide secure land rights to millions of South Africans residing in former homeland areas. To this end, both desktop and case study methodologies were used in order to collect and analyse the research data.


Thesis (M.Sc.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2006.


Land reform--Law and legislation--South Africa., Land tenure--Law and legislation--South Africa., Cadastres--Eastern Cape., Land titles--Registration and transfer--Eastern Cape., Land reform--Eastern Cape., Theses--Environmental science.