TITLE

The Enclosure Movement Revisited: The South African Commons

AUTHOR(S)
Bromley, Daniel W.
PUB. DATE
June 1994
SOURCE
Journal of Economic Issues (Association for Evolutionary Economi;Jun94, Vol. 28 Issue 2, p357
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The two great English enclosures, the first beginning in the mid-fifteenth century and continuing into the seventeenth century, and the second covering approximately 80 years near the end of the eighteenth century, entailed the eviction of tillers from the land and their replacement first by sheep and then by emerging agricultural technology. In South Africa, the term "enclosure" must be regarded not as something that was done to land, but as something that was done to people. Indeed, those Africans evicted from areas coveted by the white population were first simply displaced. It was not until the full flowering of apartheid following World War II that they were "enclosed" in large areas euphemistically referred to as "homelands." This is an enclosure movement with a particularly venal connotation. Fifty years after the first seeds of apartheid were sown, and as apartheid was beginning to crumble, that troubled nation "had the widest gap between rich and poor of any country in the world for which data are available. Eighty-seven percent of its land, and 95 percent of its industrial undertakings, are in white hands." The primary concern here is with land control in South Africa, for it is here that the clash between modernism and traditional African customs will be played out. The institutional transition in South Africa focuses on land precisely because land was the fundamental instrument of apartheid.
ACCESSION #
9407221161

 

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