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South Africa’s transition to democracy was followed by an extensive programme of land reform whose major objectives were, inter alia, to promote a more equitable distribution of land ownership; to reduce poverty and to promote economic growth through land reform; to provide security of tenure for all and to establish a system of land management that will support sustainable land-use patterns.
While all of these goals are important, one of the purposes of my thesis is to suggest that an effective programme of land reform, in general, and an effective programme of land redistribution, in particular, could also go a long way towards achieving another equally important goal, namely environmental justice.
The achievement of this goal, it will be argued, is critical in light of a history of massive land dispossession during the colonial and apartheid eras.
Such policies against black South Africans compelled them to bear a disproportionate share of the environmental hazards caused by undesirable land uses on account of their race, whilst simultaneously denying them equal access to natural resources, in general, and to land, in particular, for the same reasons.
Bachelor of Laws (LLB) University of Zimbabwe; Master of Laws (Environmental Law) University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa; Doctoral Candidate, Rhodes University, South Africa.
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