Degradation of communal rangelands in South Africa: towards an improved understanding to inform policy
AbstractIn South Africa, the relative extent of range degradation under freehold compared to communal tenure has been strongly debated. We present a perspective on the processes that drive rangeland degradation on land under communal tenure. Our findings are based on literature as well as extensive field work on both old communal lands and ‘released’ areas, where freehold farms have been transferred to communal ownership. We discuss the patterns of degradation that have accompanied communal stewardship and make recommendations on the direction policy should follow to prevent further degradation and mediate rehabilitation of existing degraded land.
Keywords: communal rangelands, land degradation, rehabilitation, social systems
African Journal of Range & Forage Science 2013, 30(1&2): 57–63