Occasional Paper

Evaluating Land and Agrarian Reform in South Africa: Municipal Commonage

“This paper compares the performance of the Municipal Commonage Programme of the
Department of Land Affairs (DLA) with the objectives stated in the White Paper on South
African Land Policy (DLA 1997). This paper will review the extent to which the state has met its obligations under the Constitution to take legislative and other measures, within available resources, to advance persons disadvantaged by unfair discrimination (Section 9(2)), to enable
them to gain access to land on an equitable basis (Section 25(5)), including municipal
commonage, and to ensure that their tenure to such land is legally secure (Section 25(6)). The paper provides a definition of municipal commonage and its origin, reviews the development and current status of DLA’s commonage programme, assesses its implementation and outcomes, draws conclusions, and makes recommendations aimed at increasing the positive impact of
the programme of land reform in South Africa.”