Michael C. Lyne; Douglas H. Graham
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Abstract: South Africa needs rapid and substantial land redistribution. At the same time, the country must ensure that its meager agricultural resources are maintained and farmed effectively. This study uses survey data and a recursive model to show that; (a) different modes of land redistribution observed in the province of KwaZulu-Natal afford different levels of tenure security to historically disadvantaged people, and (b) that insecure tenure harms agricultural performance through its adverse impact on credit use, improvements to land, investment in seasonal inputs and crop yield. Tenure is least secure on farms acquired by user groups. Government’s recent policy shift in favour of owner-operated farms is therefore supported. However, where this family farm approach is not feasible, government should approach the dual Goals of outreach and agricultural performance by establishing non-user groups resembling the equity-sharing companies that have redistributed wealth to farm workers in the Western Cape province.