The good shepherd: remedying the fencing syndrome
AbstractIn this paper the use of fenced grazing camps to manage the rangeland commons is challenged. A historical perspective is presented on fencing and rotational grazing in South Africa. Two case studies in KwaZulu-Natal and the Northern Cape illustrate the factors that influence the management of rangelands under communal land tenure without the use of fences. It is argued that herding is preferred over fencing. The reintroduction of herding could reap multiple benefits such as improving rural livelihoods, reviving customary practice, reducing stock theft, reducing predation and improving biodiversity management. The paper concludes with some issues for consideration when implementing herding as a multipurpose strategy for improved rural livelihoods and sustainable management of natural resources.
Keywords: communal rangelands, herding, local ecological knowledge, rangeland condition, South Africa
African Journal of Range & Forage Science 2013, 30(1&2): 71–75