Commonage in Philippolis
Author: Mogoere, MM
Publication: Masters in Sustainable Agriculture mini-thesis, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein
In the south western provinces of South Africa, municipalities own vast tracts of agricultural land. This phenomenon is primarily found in rural towns in the Western, Eastern and Northern Cape and the Free State. Many municipalities inherited public land from their 19th century predecessors. In some cases, for example in Aberdeen in the United Kingdom, municipal commonage land was previously church land that was later sold to the municipality. Historically, in South Africa municipalities administered commonage agricultural land for the benefit of white urban residents, who used it to keep horses, dairy cows and some sheep (Buso, 2003).