The Engagement of Beneficiaries in Farm Governance of Restituted Land through the Communal Property Association Model: The Ideal Versus the Reality of Beneficiary Farms in South Africa

Keywords: communal property associations, beneficiaries, engagement, restituted farms


The purpose of this article is to evaluate the engagement of farm beneficiaries in South Africa in the governance of restituted farms through communal property associations. The South African government has already spent millions of rands on land restitution to correct the imbalance of the past with regard to farm ownership by the African communities. Various methods of farm management to benefit the African society have been proposed, however, with little recorded success. This article argues that the South African post-apartheid government was so overwhelmed by political victory in 1994 that they introduced ambitious land reform policies that were based on ideal thinking rather than on a pragmatic approach to the South African situation. We used qualitative research methods to argue that the engagement of farm beneficiaries in farm management and governance through communal property associations is failing dismally. We conclude that a revisit of the communal property associations model is required in order to strengthen the position of beneficiaries and promote access to land by African communities for future benefit.

Author Biographies

Mokoko Piet Sebola, University of Limpopo

Director of School of Economics and Management

Malemela Angelinah Mamabolo, University of Limpopo

Lecturer in the Department of Public Administration