Repository logo

Exploring the benefits and challenges of land restitution at Qhubekani-Mnqobokazi community land.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



In 1994, the democratic government of South Africa introduced the Land Reform Programme, which aimed to redress the historical imbalances. The Land Reform Programme is designed to provide equitable redress to persons and communities involuntarily dispossessed of their rights to land after June 1913 due to racially discriminatory laws and practices. Of the three pillars of the land reform programme, land restitution, land tenure reform, and redistribution, the former is seldom a matter of empirical inquiry. The people who lost their rights were allowed to lodge claims with the Regional Land Claims Commission office for equitable redress. Mnqobokazi community, was dispossessed of their rights to land, and out of the three types of land reform awards, the Mnqobokazi community opted for restoration of the land used as a game reserve owned by Phinda, and &Beyond. This research explores the benefits and challenges of land restitution in the Qhubekani-Mnqobokazi community. Mnqobokazi community is a poor community in a remote rural area under UMkhanyakude District Municipality, KwaZuluNatal. This study further investigated the challenges that the Qhubekani-Mnqobokazi community and land Restitution faced in making land claimed to benefit the people of the Qhubekani-Mnqobokazi community and made recommendations on how the land claimed through restitution could be used to address socio-economic challenges in the QhubekaniMnqobokazi community. This researcher used a qualitative research approach, and the philosophical grounding is a social constructivist paradigm. Data was collected through semi-structured in-depth interviews. Semi-structured interviews are the most common technique in qualitative research. Eighteen (n=18) participants participated in the study. Among these, three of them were from the Office of the Land Claims Commission, six were Qhubekani-Mnqobokazi Committee members, four were ordinary community members who are also referred to as beneficiaries of the land restitution, and two were from the community leadership which is the Municipality and the tribal authority. One participant was from the management of Phinda Game Reserve. This study analysed data using themes, and literature was used to support or refute the empirical findings. The findings show that the community of Mnqobokazi benefited from their land restitution claim. Access to education improved through schools that were built. Further, the health and well-being of the community improved through increased access to potable water, and sanitation. The community also benefited from access to electricity, health care services, business development, and increased job opportunities. However, there is still room for improvement regarding skills transfer, the balance of power, community involvement, and participation in decision-making. The researcher recommends that Phinda Game Reserve should train community members on conservation and land restitution to bring back postsettlement support and ensure that they improve their processes to ensure that land claims do not take long to settle. Further, efforts to empower community members particularly the youth must be prioritised to enable efficient skills transfer. Most community members in Mnqobokazi are satisfied with what they have accomplished as a community through land restitution.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.