Land and agricultural reform
Our objective is to build relational capital and forge new social compacts with a view to bridging the gaps between communities and unlocking the potential of the land and the people who live and work
The NNM recognises that land remains one of the most important and contentious issues of our time; and that issues of land use and patterns of land ownership in South Africa have been shaped by our history and the injustices and inequalities of the past.
The NNM also believes that the success of all of our efforts to build a prosperous nation will most certainly be determined by how the land issue is settled, both in the immediate and the foreseeable future.
Issues of communal land and productive agricultural land; questions of land ownership, security of tenure and customary ownership, mining rights and the development of the land, all contribute to the colossal challenge of fair and equitable distribution, and access to land in our country.
The primary issue is with reconciling the discrepancies between the local and traditional land use patterns that remain an essential part of the national landscape with global and national models of ownership and development. Security of tenure provides a fixed asset base for economic development in the global economic context of our time – but only for those who have the means to buy and sell. On the other hand, traditional systems of shared communal land under the headship of traditional leaders can, and in many instances do provide a safety net for the poor and for rural communities.
Options for a mixed-model of ownership and land use have not yet been thoroughly considered. So too, the agricultural development of rural land and the potential of rural communities remain largely under-utilised, both in terms of production and job creation. The restoration of the social fabric, social cohesion and economic prospects of rural communities should also be prioritised.
The NNM is committed to facilitating dialogue and cooperation between the different communities that live on and use the land; commercial farmers and traditional leaders, farm-workers and labour unions, politicians and the agricultural sector. Our objective is to build relational capital and forge new social compacts with a view to bridging the gaps between communities to unlock the potential of both the land and the people who live and work on it.