With politicians spewing antiproperty rights rhetoric, we could but wonder what exactly sets the democratic government apart from the former apartheid regime. The central feature of apartheid was a denial of property rights to black South Africans, a tradition the democratic government has continued. Just as it was under the nationalists in the past, the government today still controls a substantial amount of land in SA. For most of the historically black areas, this remains especially true. In 2001, the Demographic Information Group and Population of SA (Popsa) found that a quarter of land in SA was owned by municipal government. According to the Department of Land Affairs, in 2009 national and provincial governments owned about 25-million hectares of land. By 2013, the total state ownership of land appears to have decreased to about 14% of all land in the country. It remains unclear, however, for which departments and for what purposes land is being held. As recently as 2007, some...

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