Colonialism and apartheid sought to make traditional leaders accountable to white officials by tying them to land.
South Africa's rural communities where mining licenses have been granted are often excluded from consultations and bear the brunt having their environment and livelihoods destroyed.
The mere presence of NGOs, no matter their size or aims, inadvertently reduced the legitimacy of local village headmen.
Villagers from a community in South Africa's Eastern Cape fought to be consulted and for the power to consent to mining their land.
South Africa has made progress towards interrupting the looting of land by chiefs, state officials and mining capital.
The main reason land reform in South Africa has been lethargic is not the Constitution, but a flawed approach.
Shortcomings of Namibia's land reforms suggest that voluntary, market-based transactions might not be suitable.
Women don't want to be reduced to ceremonial roles; they believe they can add value in making decisions.
Some communities on South Africa's Platinum Belt have received substantial mining revenues, but these are controlled by chiefs.
A closer look at the resolution of South Africa's ruling party, the ANC, show that it won't undertake a radical economic transformation agenda as suggested by media reports.
A different form of state capture is underway in South Africa's rural areas where traditional leaders are selling off people's land to miners. But communities are fighting back.
South Africa should review its rural development strategy and land reform policy to win the fight against rising poverty.
A study in Malawi shows how the participation of local community leaders in policy development can change men's attitudes to maternal and child health for the better.
Despite the noble goals of the new South Africa and its ideals of racial harmony, racial tensions remain a major problem in the country. Prejudice and bigotry persists even in universities.