Throughout history, one’s symbol of status, a source of social and political influence and value/wealth was often determined by means of how much land he or she possessed. The value of land in an area is determined based on how scarce it is. Thus, the less amount of land that is available for use, the more valuable it would be. In turn, when there is a huge population and not enough of something, as with many things in life, the land is distributed unequally which causes conflicts in communities amongst economic and social classes/groups. This is where land reforms come in. By definition, land reforms are “a purposive change in the way in which agricultural land is held or owned, the methods of cultivation that are employed, or the relation of agriculture to the rest of the economy.”(Tuma)
“When the African National Congress (ANC) took power in 1994, with the black majority’s overwhelming backing, whites owned about 87% of South Africa’s farmland. The new government set a target for at least 30% of it to be transferred to blacks by 2014. More than a decade on, only 4% has changed hands.” (The Economist) Therefore, after the period of apartheid, the land was clearly not distributed fairly and the land reform did not work. The article uses the search term in many instances. For example, Mohammad Karaan, who chairs the National Agricultural Marketing Council states,”It’s not the lack of will but rather the lack of synchronization between state and market that fails land reform” (The Economist). The main reason as to why reform doesn’t work is because the reformers (government) proclaim to carry out certain objectives and make promises to appeal to the disadvantaged ones, the blacks in South Africa, but to no avail. There are, however many other contributing factors that play a role in the failure of land reform. The South African government blames the farmers for raising the prices of their land, the Department of Land Affairs is lacking the properly trained officials, files have been lost and when land is eventually sold many do not know how to run a farm and due to industrialization farm workers are left unemployed. Simply put, the government and landowners need to work hand in hand to cater to each other needs instead of pointing fingers and casting blame. This article was written for the audience of the general public, specifically those interested in land reform in South Africa
During the Roman Republic, Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus sponsored land reforms in an effort to restore the class of small independent farmers. In the section, Appian Civil Wars,8, he proposed, “that nobody should hold more than 500 jugera of this land” ( Readings on the Roman Republic page 24) the land that was acquired from the wars. He wanted any extra land that the rich owned to be taken away and given to the poor. However, he wasn’t successful because the ones who he proposed this law to, the Senate, were mainly the ones who owned the land because of their wealth. Eventually, “Gracchus himself … was slain at the door close by the statues of the kings”(page 26). Hence, it is clear to see that from the second century in the Roman Republic up to present day in South Africa, land reform is, in fact, tricky to implement. Both then and now land reform has the ability to help out the poor areas but rich people prefer to remain on top and become angry when anyone wants equality and change.
Chanté, Team Venus
Source Citations (MLA)
“Why land reform is so tricky; South Africa.” The Economist, 5 May 2007, p. 60(US). Academic OneFile, go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=AONE&sw=w&u=cuny_broo39667&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA162945585&it=r&asid=56e2969cccd31c572ff0777980c93bd4. Accessed 5 Nov. 2017.
Tuma, Elias H. “Land reform.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., 3 Oct. 2013, http://www.britannica.com/topic/land-reform#toc329193main.