Deininger, K. and May, J. (2000) Is There Scope for Growth with Equity? The Case of Land Reform in South Africa. Working Paper No. 29. Development economists have long aimed to identify programs and policies that can, by simultaneously improving equity and efficiency, foster sustainable growth. Land reform provides a classical example for such a programme. However, fears of not being able to achieve equity objectives has lead South African authorities to impose a number of restrictions that have arguably slowed program implementation and limited its outreach. We use evidence from a survey of about 1,200 South African land reform beneficiaries to argue that such fears were exaggerated and that there is no conflict between efficiency and equity goals. Economically viable projects were oriented more towards the poor than unprofitable ones and characteristics of such projects are used to identify changes in program rules to combine economic viability with equity, speed up implementation, and thereby contribute to the transformation that will be needed if rural South Africa is to deal successfully with the challenges of the 21st century.
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