Land reform for employment creation in South Africa

Investigating how changes to the ownership and use of land in South Africa could create jobs

project overview

Rural residents make up one third of South Africa’s population.  Successful land reform could dramatically boost jobs, foster opportunities, and open up access to markets.  One of the consistent challenges in the South African land reform debate has been the lack of evidenced-based policies.


Which type of land use and farming systems, operating at what scales, can create the most employment? Looking at the number of jobs and the costs per job in four municipalities, this project showed how the employment-intensity of agriculture can be increased, managed and sustained.

The extensive research into the potential of small-scale farming for employment generation, resulted in a number of recommendations for policy and programming. With the research component complete, the next steps include a practical and collaborative plan to realise the identified potential. A pilot project is currently underway in the Matzikama municipality in the northern-most part of the Western Cape.

STAKEHOLDERS

More about the project

Background
Land reform presents a significant opportunity for sustainable job creation. This was one of the key findings of this CBPEP supported collaborative project investigating the potential of small-scale farming for employment generation in South Africa.  

The study looked at small-holder and small-scale black-owned commercial farms in South Africa to see where employment could be maximised.  Commodities reviewed included wool, livestock, fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts and sugar cane. Areas of focus included broader issues such as climate change and international best practices.

This project developed a series of policy proposals and reports around increasing the incomes and livelihoods of up to 2 million subsistence-oriented smallholders and 200 000 market-oriented smallholders.

The accompanying policy briefs assessed the potential for employment-intensive land reform in South Africa and provided policy recommendations. These briefs were based on a comprehensive research report, several thematic and commodity studies along with local municipality case studies. The research findings were launched in a discussion-based webinar in June 2020, and the policy briefs and full research reports are available for download on this site.

This project explored the logistics of programmes to implement these policies, including the building of appropriate institutional capacities within Government, its partners and beneficiaries.

lessons

Throughout its capacity-building journey CBPEP has learnt valuable lessons. Its work with this employment-focused land reform project led to the following key learning.

Always add value… then magic happens:
CBPEP understood the political sensitivity of this project and was able to add value through ensuring its approach was inclusive and responsive to the changing context. Throughout the project, CBPEP promoted and ensured local participation and buy-in.  

Dialogue session highlights

How timely a contribution we think this is to public debate, particularly in the context of the current COVID-19 crisis and its impact on livelihoods and food security.

Glen Fisher, CBPEP
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WATCH

the matzikama pilot project

Documenting the collaborative land reform planning pilot project 2021

As the project embarks on its action-focused next phase in the Matzikama municipality in the northern-most part of the Western Cape, the process is being recorded and shared by Dr Rick de Satge from the Phuhlisani research team.

Follow the blog for the full story, as well as access to open resources and tools to help strengthen citizen engagement and alignment with government for similar projects.

The views reflected in the blog do not necessarily reflect the views of the CBPEP or its EU funders.
View blog

Documenting the collaborative land reform planning pilot project 2021

Land reform presents a significant opportunity for sustainable job creation. This was one of the key findings of  the CBPEP supported collaborative project investigating the potential of small-scale farming for employment generation in South Africa. Now that the research component is complete, the next step is a practical and collaborative plan to realise the identified potential.

As the project embarks on its action-focused next phase in the Matzikama municipality in the northern-most  Western Cape, the full process will be recorded and shared in a blog, curated by Dr Rick de Satge from the Phuhlisani research team.

Follow the blog for  the full story, as well as access to open resources and tools to help strengthen citizen engagement  and alignment with government for similar projects.

The views reflected in the blog do not necessarily reflect the views of the CBPEP or its EU funders.

project outputs

Resources:

There are a range of outputs from this project. These include policy briefs, thematic studies, commodity studies and case studies.

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Policy dialogue:

A webinar was hosted by CBPEP to present the ground-breaking research on the potential of small-scale farming to promote employment generation.

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Capacity Building Programme for Employment Promotion (CBPEP). © 2021. All Rights Reserved.