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The limits of land restitution: Livelihoods in three rural communities in South Africa


  • Charles Puttergill
  • Nolunkcwe Bomela
  • Janis Grobbelaar
  • Khumisho Moguerane


Land restitution is a powerful symbol of redressing the trauma and dispossession many Africans experienced historically. However, everyday material constraints limit the possibilities of how restored land is used, resulting in continued alienation of African rural households from land. This paper focuses on three rural communities in South Africa that are recent beneficiaries of post-1994 land restitution. Social conditions in these communities create a context in which decisions on how restored land should be used, especially the tendency towards commercial farming enterprises, remain unchallenged by ordinary people.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles Puttergill & Nolunkcwe Bomela & Janis Grobbelaar & Khumisho Moguerane, 2011. "The limits of land restitution: Livelihoods in three rural communities in South Africa," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(5), pages 597-611, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:28:y:2011:i:5:p:597-611
    DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2011.623921

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    Cited by:

    1. Daniels, Reza Che & Partridge, Andrew & Kekana, Dineo & Musundwa, Sibongile, 2013. "Rural Livelihoods in South Africa," SALDRU Working Papers 122, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.

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