With the first democratic elections, there was a great need to rebuild the South African (SA) economy. Some of the major pressing issues that needed priority included addressing the high poverty and unemployment levels in the country. This has resulted in debates from development economists on which approach to adopt to quickly get the rural poor out of the vicious circle of poverty. One of the most supported approaches is to develop the rural population first seeing as it is the one most affected by poverty. Since the majority of the population is located in the rural areas, it is of paramount importance that attention is given to them through supporting their (smallholder) agricultural sector. This paper seeks to highlight and evaluate the Land Reform Programme (LRP) as one of many approaches used to promote the smallholder agricultural sector. The idea is to determine the success or failure rate of this intervention and perhaps come up with some possible policy recommendations that can make it more effective.
Key words: Land reform programme, land tenure, poverty alleviation, smallholder farmers.
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