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The building housing land records in Mount Frere, a district of the former Transkei, is an iron shack. Rickety wooden shelves are weighed down by piles of ledgers and fraying folders. Researcher Mike Kenyon showed a picture of the land records "office" to a recent policy conference on inclusive growth to illustrate land administration in the former homeland. Despite intense economic activity in livestock, construction, personal services and even marijuana cultivation, there are few effective institutions and murky regulations on land use and planning. "So anyone who wants to do a development project gives up or does it below the radar," he said. Kenyon is one of several land researchers who contributed to the Research Project on Employment, Income Distribution and Inclusive Growth (REDI3x3), an independent project initiated by the Treasury in 2013 to promote evidence-based policy making. The project, which is nearing completion, has examined the drivers of persistent poverty, unempl...

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