Community Members’ Knowledge, Support and Perceived Benefits of Land Reform in Rural South Africa: The Case of Mtunzini, in the KwaZulu Natal Province
AbstractSouth Africa’s post-apartheid land reform programme was largely influenced by the World Bank’s ‘Willing-Seller Willing- Buyer’ or ‘Negotiated Land Reform Approach’. Past studies have been dealing with land reform within the ambits of poverty reduction, violence and human rights. This study investigated the perception of the people at grass root level about land reform, within the participatory paradigm. In a survey of community members in rural Mtunzini ((n = 66) the study sought to decipher the levels of knowledge, support and perceived benefits of land reform among farmers and agricultural workers. Scale construction was conducted using Principal Components Analysis and hypotheses were tested using bivariate correlation. The results of the study showed that community members’ knowledge of land reform predicts their support for land reform. The result further showed that support for land reform is dependent upon the perceived expected benefit from the program. The results of the study also showed that the public perceived the power of chiefs as having potential in processes of land distribution. This is due to the fact that traditional leaders are leadership structures in closer communication with the people, especially in the rural areas. The study further demonstrated that distributing land without reasonable financial support to land reform beneficiaries will not be helpful. On the basis of these findings it was recommended that transparent mass education of the populace especially in the rural areas about land reform, and land policy will increase popular support and generate positive attitudes from the population towards government programmes.
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