Skip to main content

A new report from the Land Governance programme by Simbarashe Nyuke, Gaynor Paradza and Noluvuyo Mjoli.

The land question is a volatile issue in South Africa as land redistribution goals remain unmet. The land issue is entangled in a long history of marginalisation and dispossession dating back to the colonial era. The quest by the previously marginalised and dispossessed to address this imbalance has resulted in complex dynamics regarding land governance, especially at local level within cities and parts of the rural constituencies in the country.Property rights and in particular, land, were at the heart of the struggle for liberation in South Africa and failure to address the question has resulted in an outcry from below. Since PARI conducted the fieldwork in 2021, the Ekurhuleni Municipality had 119 recorded informal settlements which reflects the incessant demand for urban land. The growing informal settlements point to the municipality’s limited capacity to respond to the demand for land in its jurisdiction. At the intersection of the municipality and informal settlement, residents’ demands demonstrate most of the dynamics regarding struggles for land.