, VI Conference of BRICS Initiative of Critical Agrarian Studies

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Politics of state support for black commercial farmers on redistributed land in South Africa: lessons from eastern Free State Province
Mnqobi Mthandeni Ngubane

Last modified: 2018-12-13


This paper reports findings from recent in-depth research on medium-scale farms (ranging from 70ha to 1000 ha in area) in the eastern Free State and analyzes the dynamics of ‘state neglect’, and ‘elite capture’ within South Africa’s land redistribution project. Black medium-scale farmers are characterized as differentiated in their class identities, with only a minority able to engage in accumulation and most struggling to reproduce themselves as capitalist farmers. Also described are the uneven levels of support and subsidy offered by the state over time. The paper also discusses some lessons for policy, focusing on missed opportunities for increasing productivity on redistributed farms owned by black farmers in South Africa.


Land; elite capture; state support; class differentiation

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