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Written by: Hubert Cochet, Ward Anseeuw, Sandrine Fréguin-Gresh
Writing date: October 2015
Type of document: Research Paper
Cochet, H.; Anseeuw, W.; Fréguin-Gresh, S.; 2015. South Africa’s Agrarian Question. HSRC Press, Cape Town. 384 pages
What does it mean to reverse decades of racial injustice in access to land and productive resources, and to deal with a legacy of concentration and inequality? Can South Africa, which presents itself as the ‘development state par excellence’, succeed in the transition to more sustainable types of farming and to more localised food systems? The answers provided in this book will be of interest not only to all those interested in the South African experiment, but also to those who, in all regions, are questioning the mainstream agrifood regime and asking how it can be transformed.
Olivier De Schutter
Former UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food (2008–2014)
Co-Chair, International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems
Member of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights}
Based on an in-depth analysis of several contrasting agricultural regions, this book aims to assess South Africa’s on-going agrarian reform and the country’s agrarian dynamics.
The conclusion is without doubt: Twenty years after the first democratic elections, the country’s land pattern remains almost unchanged, and primary agriculture and its broader value-chains are more concentrated than ever. Without fundamentally questioning the highly specialised, fossil energy and synthetic input dependent, oligopolistic entrepreneurial agricultural production model, which is presently structuring the sector and is guiding the reforms, a more equitable redistribution of resources and value-addition will by no means be possible.
This book examines and contributes to the structural questions that underpin the current stagnation of South Africa’s agrarian reform. Presenting fresh approaches in analysing agrarian issues and tools to assess farming systems and agricultural development, this incisive study will be an important resource to policy makers, academics and those with an interest in agrarian reform.
Chapter 1 The planned destruction of ‘black’ agriculture
Chapter 2 Agrarian reform in South Africa: Objectives, evolutions and results at national level
Chapter 3 Analysing productive processes and performances of agriculture at local scale in South Africa: How to proceed?
Chapter 4 The interlinked but continuously divergent production systems of the catchment area of the Nwanedzi River (Limpopo Province)
Chapter 5 Constrained potential: Intensive agriculture in the Hazyview region (Mpumalanga)
Chapter 6 Unequal access to means of production and agrarian trajectories: An agrarian diagnosis of the Kat Valley (Eastern Cape)
Chapter 7 Agrarian reform and sustainability of sugar cane production: A tricky balance (The case of Sezela, KwaZulu-Natal)
Chapter 8 The irrigated scheme of Jacobsdal and its land and agrarian reform issues
Chapter 9 Brits’ irrigated areas and neighbouring communities (the Madibeng and Rustenburg municipalities, North West province)
Chapter 10 Persistent and extreme polarisation: Wide productivity and income gaps
Chapter 11 Ambiguities, limits and failures of South Africa’s agrarian reform
Chapter 12 Contract farming and strategic partnerships: A promising exit or smoke and mirrors?
Chapter 13 Far from grassroots agrarian reform: Towards new production models, increased concentration and the export of the South African model
Chapter 14 Conclusion
ISBN soft cover: 978-0-7969-2512-1
ISBN pdf: 978-0-7969-2523-7
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