When South Africa eventually emerges from the fog of the Covid-19 crisis, will policy makers be ready to grasp the nettle of farm scale, and promote the large-scale redistribution of land to small-scale producers?
Lulu Xingwana, the new Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs, faces enormous challenges. Policies to sustain a productive agricultural sector must contend with a global trade regime that is profoundly unequal and privileges the protected producers of the North. There has been little progress in levelling this playing field.
The long-awaited draft Communal Land Rights Bill sets out the government's proposals to resolve urgent land tenure problems in former homeland areas. These problems include the lack of legal recognition of communal tenure, abuse by elites, the breakdown of the old permit system, and gender inequality.