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Rethinking Land Reform in South Africa: An Alternative Approach to Environmental Justice

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  • Charles Geisler
  • Essy Letsoalo

Abstract

Worldwide, millions of rural people inhabiting marginal lands have been evicted from their homes in the name of conservation. Africa is no exception, nor is South Africa, the focus of this paper. Our central concern is whether land reform in South Africa can accomplish both social and environmental justice in a context of widespread and longstanding human displacement and opportunity costs as the country's national parks and game refuges expand. The costs of ecological expropriation are illustrated, as are instances from other countries where land reform simultaneously serves social and environmental objectives. Recommendations are advanced for greening South Africa's land reform without sacrificing its social and economic missions.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles Geisler & Essy Letsoalo, 2000. "Rethinking Land Reform in South Africa: An Alternative Approach to Environmental Justice," Sociological Research Online, , vol. 5(2), pages 80-88, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:socres:v:5:y:2000:i:2:p:80-88
    DOI: 10.5153/sro.496
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Wachter, Daniel, 1992. "Farmland Degradation In Developing Countries: The Role Of Property Rights And An Assessment Of Land Titling As A Policy Intervention," LTC Papers 292575, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Land Tenure Center.
    2. Forster, Nancy R., 1992. "Protecting fragile lands: New reasons to tackle old problems," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 571-585, April.
    3. Binswanger, Hans P. & Deininger, Klaus, 1993. "South African land policy: The legacy of history and current options," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 21(9), pages 1451-1475, September.
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