Unisa Press

Our land, our life, our future

Author: Harvey M. Feinberg
ISBN: 978-1-86888-748-4
Number of pages: 273
Prices: R 285 | $ 22 | £ 19 | € 20
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012 429 3515 /3448

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About the book

This ground-breaking book evaluates a topic central to the past century of South African history — the 1913 Natives Land Act and its consequences. Applying rigorous scholarly standards, Harvey Feinberg analyses, reassesses and then challenges previously accepted ideas about the impact of the Land Act. The book, a product of meticulous research in major South African archives, is notable for its reference to a wide array of documents scholars have until now neglected. A plethora of evidence provides the data to challenge major theories about the impact of the Natives Land Act, and to illuminate changes in government land policy.

Objectively presenting this new evidence, Feinberg convincingly demonstrates that through African agency, black South Africans continued to buy land after 1913 thereby challenging the territorial segregation goals of the rural white population. His study also includes important contrasts between the 1910—1948 period and the apartheid era.

This book will appeal to a wide readership, including international researchers interested in land history, South Africa–oriented academics, and the South African legal community — lawyers, policymakers and NGOs dealing with the land claims process. Readers interested in early 20th century South African history, and in the current debates over land policy and access to land, will be intrigued by this rich vein of new material, and will find that it includes important background information for the post-1994 restitution process.

Harvey M. Feinberg is Professor Emeritus of African History, Connecticut State University, and former Research Collaborator at the Department of Historical and Heritage Studies, University of Pretoria. Early in his career, he studied the 18th-century history of Ghana and published Africans and Europeans in West Africa: Elminans and Dutchmen on the Gold Coast during the Eighteenth Century. He began investigating early 20th century South Africa in the mid-1980s and has published numerous articles based on that research in The Journal of African History, International Journal of African Historical Studies, Journal for Contemporary History, Historia, Kleio, and History in Africa

Table of content

Preface and Acknowledgements
Introduction
PART 1 Politics, race and the land, 1913—1948
1 Politics, race and the land: An introduction
2 The Natives Land Act, 1913
3 The defeat of a new land bill, 19161918
4

Land policy and change, 19181948

The Botha—Smuts land policy, 19181924

J. B. M. Hertzog’s land policy, 19241936

The Native Trust and Land Act and beyond, 19361948

PART 2 African buyers and African landowners, 1913—1948
5 Buyers and buying
6 The Bakwena-ba-Magopa and indebtedness
7 Financing farm purchases: Credit and debt
8 Resistance without violence: Tweefontein 529
9 Resistance without violence: The defence of ownership rights
10 Is official protection of African interests paternalism?
11 Territorial segregation policy: A goal not achieved, 19131948
12 The complex world of African land ownership
Epilogue: The state and the land, 2013—2014
Notes
Bibliography
Index