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The Effect of Land Restitution on Poverty Reduction Among the Khomani San “Bushmen” in South Africa

This paper looks at the impact of land restitution involving the Khomani San “bushmen” in the Kgalagadi area of South Africa. It seeks to test whether there is a positive correlation between land restitution and poverty reduction among the beneficiaries. We run instrumental variable probit models on poverty and access to nature. Our results suggest that using restituted land by the claimants’ has no positive effect on poverty alleviation. However, a positive link with greater access to nature is established. Therefore, land restitution should become part of a broader, carefully crafted rural developmental strategy for it to be effective. Otherwise land restitution risks enabling indigenous communities to continue with their “traditional” way of life and, in fact, keep them poor.

Working paper 352
1 June 2013
RELATED JOURNAL:

South African Journal of Economics
9 April 2015
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