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An extensive land reform programme is underway, which faces many challenges unique to the socio-political context of post-apartheid South Africa. The aim of this paper is to review the extent to which agrarian land reform policy, more particularly in respect to its land distribution element, incorporates environmental sustainability principles into resultant practice and whether or not this may lead to exacerbation of land degradation problems in the country. The paper briefly outlines the key land reform role-players, the policy and implementation process of land reform, and considers these in relation to the problem of land degradation. Ongoing problems of implementation with the land redistribution programme are discussed in relation to a number of significant challenges. The paper illustrates the lack of integration of environmental planning in the land reform process generally and points to the potentially deleterious impact of land reform on land degradation.

About the Author

Michael Meadows

South Africa
Department of Environmental & Geographical Science, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa


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