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From land rights to environmental entitlements: Community discontent in the 'successful' Dwesa-Cwebe land claim in South Africa


  • Zolile Ntshona
  • Mcebisi Kraai
  • Thembela Kepe
  • Paul Saliwa


This paper discusses the inability of successful land claimants to enjoy livelihood benefits from their newly acquired land rights. Based on long-term field observation, interviews and analysis of secondary material, the paper uses a case study of the Dwesa-Cwebe Nature Reserve in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa to explore why it is that an agreement, as part of the land claim settlement, to allow local villagers regulated access to natural resources is not being implemented. The paper draws from the environmental entitlements framework to argue that full land rights that could allow livelihood benefits to be enjoyed are restricted by ineffective and conflicting institutional arrangements, such as the Land Trust, the Communal Property Association and traditional authorities. The paper calls for the empowerment of institutions to deliberately benefit local livelihoods.

Suggested Citation

  • Zolile Ntshona & Mcebisi Kraai & Thembela Kepe & Paul Saliwa, 2010. "From land rights to environmental entitlements: Community discontent in the 'successful' Dwesa-Cwebe land claim in South Africa," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(3), pages 353-361.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:27:y:2010:i:3:p:353-361 DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2010.498942

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Johan Fourie, 2006. "Economic Infrastructure: A Review Of Definitions, Theory And Empirics," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 74(3), pages 530-556, September.
    2. Fink, Carsten & Mattoo, Aaditya & Neagu, Ileana Cristina, 2005. "Assessing the impact of communication costs on international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 428-445, December.
    3. Robinson, James A. & Torvik, Ragnar, 2005. "White elephants," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 197-210, February.
    4. Limao, Nuno & Venables, Anthony J., 1999. "Infrastructure, geographical disadvantage, and transport costs," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2257, The World Bank.
    5. Peter Perkins & Johann Fedderke & John Luiz, 2005. "An Analysis Of Economic Infrastructure Investment In South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 73(2), pages 211-228, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Shackleton, Charlie M. & Pandey, Ashok K., 2014. "Positioning non-timber forest products on the development agenda," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 1-7.


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