Game ranching and land reform : Claims for the land exclaim tension : a case study of the Mapungubwe region

Master Thesis


Permanent link to this Item
Journal Title
Link to Journal
Journal ISSN
Volume Title

University of Cape Town

South Africa’s game ranching industry is perceived both positively and negatively. Positive perceptions of the industry exist owing to the argument that game ranching carries the prospect of augmenting sustainable conservation. Notwithstanding, negative associations of the industry arise from a growing body of evidence that game ranchers are thwarting the land reform process by fencing off their land to secure game ownership . Such perceptions are embedded within a sense of tension; wherein, if game ranching practices are a form of conservation, then such conservation practices may be contributing to conflict over land ownership and associated land usage. Accordingly, further investigation to ascertain what ranching practices entail and furthermore, what sustainable conservation involves could clarify the tension. A contextual analysis of ranching in the Mapungubwe region was thus sought. Fieldwork involving interviews with available key informants was conducted in the region. It was found, firstly, that a conceptual tension underpins game ranching; secondly, not all ranching can be deemed sustainable conservation and finally, that the sustainability of ranching itself is conditioned upon a range of factors. Tension between game ranching and land reform was discovered; yet such tension could not be attributed to nor felt by all of the key informants interviewed. It was concluded that tension is indeed present, but the tension is multi-dimensional in nature.

Includes bibliographical references.