The effect of Apartheid on South Africa’s Agricultural Sector: A Sustainable Livelihood Approach


  • Mfaniseni Wiseman Mbatha
  • Victor H Mlambo University of Johannesburg
  • Mandla A Mubecua



This paper seeks to understand the extent to which apartheid has and continues to shape the agricultural sector in South Africa.  To accomplish this, this paper made use of the Sustainable Livelihood Approach (SLA) as a theoretical lens. This approach helped to understand the impact made by apartheid on the agricultural sector and how the agricultural sector as a livelihood strategy contributed to addressing social challenges faced by the country, especially the black majority. This paper uses a case study research design to collect secondary literature and thematic content analysis was used to analyse data. The findings revealed that apartheid introduced systemic policies to segregate black South Africans in terms of agricultural land ownership. The post-apartheid government implemented the land reform policy with land redistribution being used as a main component to address agricultural land ownership and apartheid inequalities. However, black smallholding farmers even today, are still playing second fiddle to their white counterparts who continue to own large swathes of agricultural land.