The announcement by deputy president David Mabuza that the government will soon release criteria for redistributing state-owned land is, potentially, an important and positive development.

Whether this is indeed the case will depend on those criteria. The main question — among many others — is whether the government intends to confer title on the beneficiaries. Will it grant them property, or merely a truncated “access to land” as perpetual tenants of the state?..

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