Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-8448b6f56d-42gr6 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-17T22:27:23.546Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Chapter 10 - A History of Communal Property Associations in South Africa

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 June 2021

William Beinart
Affiliation:
University of Oxford
Rosalie Kingwill
Affiliation:
University of the Western Cape, South Africa
Gavin Capps
Affiliation:
Kingston University, London
Get access

Summary

In 1996, two years after Nelson Mandela's African National Congress (ANC) government came to power in South Africa, workshops were being held all over the country to discuss how land reform could benefit groups who were dispossessed of their land rights under colonialism, segregation and apartheid. One of these workshops took place in the Dithakwaneng Community, near the town of Vryburg in the North West Province. The workshop was run by the Association for Community and Rural Advancement (AnCRA) with the assistance of several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the Surplus People Project (SPP) network, including the Transvaal Rural Action Committee (TRAC) and the Association for Rural Advancement (AFRA). During the 1980s, these organisations played a key role in helping people in rural areas defend themselves against the apartheid government's forced removals. After 1994, black South Africans who were dispossessed of land as a result of racial discrimination could lodge a claim through the Land Restitution Act. Participants at the Dithakwaneng workshop were the victims of forced removals. In 1996 they became land claimants who were workshopping new forms of property holding that would let them manage land as groups. In particular, they were debating collective land holding entities called communal property associations (CPAs).

At the Dithakwaneng workshop, a facilitator from AnCRA, Peter Mokomele, encouraged the participants to grapple with ideas about land law. He elaborated that they should think about ‘rules governing societies (unwritten codes and how we have come to follow them)’. Mokomele asked claimants to write down some rules they were aware of, and what happened if people violated these rules. The participants studied how the newly minted South African Constitution of 1996 was put together and discussed ‘how they [constitutions] hold us together in society’. The idea was to come up with a constitution for the CPA that would help bring the community of Dithakwaneng land claimants together. Disputes arose at the workshop between local organising committees (for land security, schools and water) and traditional leaders, whom many land claimants associated with the corrupt Bantustan government of Bophuthatswana. Mokomele asked participants to think about how to write a constitution that would promote democratic leadership in their community, while acknowledging the fissures.

Type
Chapter
Information
Land, Law and Chiefs in Rural South Africa
Contested histories and current struggles
, pp. 208 - 228
Publisher: Wits University Press
Print publication year: 2021

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×