Kurdish Studies

ISSN: 2051-4883 | e-ISSN: 2051-4891
Email: editor@kurdishstudies.net

A Framework to Formalise Land Rights in Communal Land Areas of the Former Transkei, South Africa

Thembela Gazi
School of Public Management Governance and Public Policy (SPMGPP), The University of Johannesburg
Dominique E. Uwizeyimana
School of Public Management Governance and Public Policy (SPMGPP), The University of Johannesburg
Keywords: Land reform; Land rights; Communal land; Traditional societies; Customary laws..


The aim of this article is to design a framework for the formalisation of the land rights to ensure good governance in communal areas and to ensure that they are secure and equal to exclusive rights of ownership offered by the statutory land registration system in South Africa. South Africa is facing a problem of dual land tenure system inherited from colonial and apartheid land policies and practices. The colonial and apartheid policies and practices ensured that whites keep exclusive rights of ownership (i.e., freehold and leasehold) to the land, while Africans still have insecure permit-based land rights in the former homelands regulated by customary based land rights systems. The land tenure reform programme embarked upon as part of land reform since 1994 has not yet addressed this land tenure duality, despite the provisions of the Constitution to provide legally secure land tenure rights to those whose tenure of land is insecure and inferior because of past racially discriminatory laws and practices. Thus, the population residing in the communal areas of the former Transkei continues to occupy and use their land under the legally insecure land rights they were provided with under colonial and apartheid eras. The data used in this research were gathered through semi-structured interviews with residents, traditional leaders, and state officials, as well as through document analysis. This provided valuable data which assisted in establishing the key components that should form the framework to formalise the land rights in communal areas. A proposal for formalisation framework to solve the issues identified in the research is also provided. The article concludes with a few key recommendations that could be implemented to improve land governance in the communal land areas of the former Transkei.

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