Land reform is once again under the spotlight. Amidst calls by some politicians for confiscating land from white farmers without compensation, others claim that the land redistributed to black owners is t being productively farmed. The debate is dangerously polarised, the stakes high. At the same time new challenges confront policy-makers: climate change, threats to bio-diversity, urbanisation, high unemployment, food security, and global ecomic uncertainties. 2013 was the centenary of South Africa's torious Natives Land Act, whose effects are still evident in the country's divided countryside and deeply racialised inequalities. 2014 is the deadline that the ANC government set for itself of redistributing 30 per cent of commercial agricultural land into black ownership. All agree that the target cant be met, but there is little agreement on what is the best way forward. 2014 is also the twentieth anniversary of the founding of democracy. Building on the public debates generated by the centenary of the 1913 Land Act, this book presents a major opportunity to review the contemporary significance of land as a social, ecomic and natural resource in South Africa - to pose new questions and search for new answers. The book is illustrated with photographs from the acclaimed Iziko National Gallery exhibition Umhlaba 1913-2013: Commemorating the 1913 Land Act , curated by David Goldblatt, Paul Weinberg, Bongi Dhlomo-Mautloa and Pam Warne.
Cherryl Walker is a professor of sociology at the University of Stellenbosch and the author of Landmarked (Jacana and Ohio University Press). Ben Cousins holds an NRF Chair in Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies at the University of the Western Cape and is the author of numerous books and articles.