Land redistribution and reform is likely an effective strategy for poverty eradication, according to a new paper by noted development economist Professor Michael Carter. The research paper, which evaluates the impact of land redistribution in South Africa, was written as a part of the BASIS Research Program on Poverty Inequality and Development. There is more research to be done in this particular study on land redistribution, but you can read an abstract of the paper here.
According to statistical analysis, the impact of redistribution on household per capita consumption ( a measure of purchasing power) is positive and has shown the potential of helping families escape poverty in the short-term. Around 40% of the South African population today is found in rural areas, where the deepest cycles of chronic poverty are found.
The election of Jacob Zuma has ignited a renewal of black hopes and white fears for radical agrarian reform. A comprehensive agrarian reform agenda could be the key to asset redistribution and sustainable economic development for the less well-off rural population. For now, South Africa continues to be one of the most unequal societies in the world. Since the fall of apartheid in 1994, the nation has ranked consistently among countries with the worst GINI coefficients--an indice which measures inequality in the distribution of wealth.