Repository logo

The gendered politics of land distribution and inheritance by widowed women in KwaZulu-Natal.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The land question in South Africa is a recurrent debate in today’s political and socio-economic atmosphere, so too is the discourse about the rights of women to land inheritance. While the South African Government is making efforts to ensure that the rights of women to land inheritance are protected, women still remain marginalized. They continue to be confronted with numerous cultural injustices and other harmful practices that conflict with the Constitution of the country as well as with international treaties and agreements to which South Africa is signatory. The thesis examined the gendered politics that are involved in land inheritance amongst the Zulu Speaking widowed women in KwaZulu-Natal. The study focused on the experiences of the Zulu speaking widows who are members of WWOSA which is a non-governmental organisation based in the Northern part of KZN in Richards Bay. Even though the focus is within WWOSA, the study reviewed other relevant and related literature on widowhood rituals and land disinheritance globally, seeing asit is not uniquely South Africa phenomenon and is quite prevalent in other parts of the African continent. Therefore, to investigate the phenomenon and the politics involved in the land inheritance by the Zulu speaking widows, the study sort to answer the following questions: What are the traditional practices surrounding land inheritance for widows in KZN Province? What are the constitutional provisions related to land inheritance for widows? What is the role of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) in implementing land reform gender policy? How does the DRDLR partner with other stakeholders in land access and distribution issues? The study adopted a qualitative research approach to address the aforementioned questions, which included in-depth interviews with WWOSA and sourcing relevant secondary data like documents from DRDLR, newspaper articles, published books and journals to mention a few.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.