A new book being launched takes a deep look at what it shows are failed land restitution and redistribution processes in South Africa.
The Wits School of Governance (WSG), in partnership with Penguin Random House South Africa, will launch Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi’s second book, Land Matters, on Tuesday April 20, 2021.
The book launch will take place via Zoom and be facilitated by the head of WSG, Professor Mzukisi Qobo, who will be discussing the new work with the author.
Unlike his first book, The Land is Ours, which tackled a variety of political issues such as forced labour, individual rights, constitutional issues and the rule of law, the new book deals exclusively with land matters.
Based on an extract provided by Uppercase Books, Land Matters is a critical look at the failures of land redistribution, restitution and tenure reform. It further looks at where women are placed in the land discussion, as well as the debates surrounding amendment of the Constitution. It concludes by mooting solutions to the issues discussed, by suggesting what needs to be done.
Some of the material in the book was collected when Ngcukaitobi was writing his first book, but he never used it at the time. Most of Land Matters was written over the covid-19 lockdown period, which made it easy for the author to focus on the book.
“The book did not feel too burdensome, it was a labor of love,” he says.
Ngcukaitobi believes land was central to colonial occupation and remains a symbol of poverty in South Africa: “The intention of the book is to show how colonial trends continue to be present and shape the oriental future of land,” he says. He expresses how the 1913 Land Act disintegrated due to corruption and incompetence. He also highlights the shortfalls of the redistribution program.
“I am writing to highlight these flaws in the design and implementation of land reforms,” Ngcukaitobi says.
Kemantha Govender, communications manager at WSG, says they are hosting the launch because of the importance of the topic discussed in the book: “The book covers information that will be of interest to many sectors of our communities including women, the role of banks and the power of chiefs,” she says.
Govender further states it is important to include students in these conversations, ‘’because it is important for us to hear their voices”. She says contributions from students bring real–life experiences and questions to the discussions, which add richness to the events.
The book is available at loot.co.za, Uppercase Bookstore, Readers Warehouse and snatcher.
FEATURED IMAGE: Cover of the new book, Land Matters. Photo: Provided