Transitional rural landscapes: The role of small-scale commercial farming in former homelands of Post-Apartheid KwaZulu-Natal

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The paper presents trends in past and present land use patterns in parts of a former homeland of KwaZulu-Natal, and discusses the changing role of farming. It suggests that an understanding of the transition in rural land must take into account the impact of rural-urban relations and the Colonial and Apartheid socio-spatial policies. A sequence of map data is analysed and compared with interviews with residents of the studied area and official data concerning actual and prospected development. The data demonstrate how population pressures and changing sources of income during the Apartheid period have resulted in a land use system dominated by home gardens and some attempts to develop small-scale commercial farming, while traditional subsistence farming has gradually decreased. On this background the prospects for small-scale commercial farming are discussed. It is argued that at least four aspects may explain why commercial farming is still marginal: the troubled land allocation system, the continued dependency on cash income for successful farming, the institutional obstacles to farmers from the homeland who wish to develop market relations, and the changing territorial logics that have characterised demarcation and land use in the post-Apartheid period.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGeografisk Tidsskrift
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)87-102
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006

    Research areas

  • Access to land, Land tenure, Land use, Role of agriculture, Rural-urban linkages, South Africa

ID: 200541199