The role of mentors in land reform projects supported through the recapitalisation and development programme: findings from Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality, South Africa
Since the beginning of South Africa’s land reform programme in 1994, much concern has been expressed about the uneven performance of newly settled farmers, which has typically been explained by weak ‘post-settlement support’. In 2009, the government launched the Recapitalisation and Development Programme (RADP) in order to assist farms that have received little or no support, especially land reform farms. One salient aspect of the RADP is that it links recipient farmers with strategic partners or mentors, often as a condition of receiving financial support. Qualitative research was conducted in the form of seven in-depth case studies of RADP-supported land reform projects, together with interviews with four RADP mentors and three government officials. Some of the challenges in the farms before RADP funding was received included little or no income, high mortality rate of livestock, and lack of skills. The study revealed that the RADP mentorship remains a vital practice to be considered in capacitating land reform beneficiaries. It is recommended that funds should be made available for mentors to have an agreement of at least three to five years in a single project.
Keywords: Land Reform, Mentors, Recapitalisation