Article from ROAPE Volume 24 Number 72
Agricultural Issues in the Former Homelands of SA: Transkei
This article examines the prospects for agricultural development and rural transformation in Transkei, one of the largest of the former homelands of South Africa. In view of Transkei's size, its substantial population and largely rural character, an understanding of its current problems and potential are extremely important in any assessment of agricultural prospects in the former homelands. The discussion draws on published research and on the authors' own fieldwork after the April 1994 elections. Some of the most intractable problems facing the Government of National Unity currently lie in the former homelands, which were starved of investment under apartheid. The article reviews patterns of peasant production and commercial agriculture (including contract farming) in Transkei and attempts to set current issues concerning land, labour (including the role of women and children), inputs and infrastructural provision within a national and international context. The article begins by briefly setting the national context, before moving on to examine the specific conditions of agricultural activity in Transkei.