The impact of informal settlement areas on the land reform programme in South Africa.
Informal settlement areas (often referred to as squatter settlements or squatter camps) exist in all provinces of South Africa. These areas are characterized by rapid and unplanned development. The result of these is that property boundaries in most of these areas are not surveyed. Since the plots do not have boundary beacons, the land parcel is not properly defined and therefore, the property cannot be registered in the user or owner's name. Consequently, ownership is not guaranteed. Thus there are no legal documents to prove the relationship between an individual and the property. This paper discusses the problems in the land reform process that can be attributed to the existence of informal settlements. The paper is based on a research carried out to assess the effect of informal settlements on the success of the land reform programme in South Africa. A review of literature on the land reform programme and its implementation plan was carried out. The research also included a literature review on informal settlements in relation to property ownership, cadastral surveying and land registration. Three informal settlements in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa were identified for study. These included Cato Manor and Umlazi section CC in Durban and Peace Valley 2 in Pietermaritzburg.
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