Municipal Commonage Management in Emthanjeni Municipality

Cartwright, A, Harrison, T and Benseler, A (2002), Municipal Commonage Management in Emthanjeni Municipality, De Aar Area, unpublished report, Local Government Support and Learning Programme, Department of Local Government, Northern Cape.



The National Department of Agriculture and Land Affairs has set the target of redistributing 30% of the land to black aspirant farmers by 2015. There is much uncertainty as to whether this target is tenable, especially in light of the limited land that is available for redistribution. Nevertheless, there is widespread acknowledgement that meaningful land redistribution is a political imperative and that the current redistribution process needs to be accelerated.

The pressure on the Department of Land Affairs (DLA) to increase the rate of the redistribution programme has lead to renewed scrutiny of the large tracts of commonage currently owned by municipalities in the Northern Cape. There have been growing calls for this land to be used to further land reform efforts and assist Local Governments to fulfil the “developmental” responsibilities outlined for them in the Municipal Systems Act (2000).

That this is not taking place is arguably a lost opportunity that South Africa might live to rue. Much of the rest of this paper explores barriers and options for seizing this opportunity.


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