Post-Conflict Land Administration and quick fixes in Edendale N Wirewall Project

Michael Barry


The Edendale N Wirewall case is instructive for land tenure administration, project management and group tenure schemes in post-conflict land tenure administration and housing project management. The Greater Edendale Area experienced major localised conflict in the lead up to the end of apartheid. The Edendale N Wirewall project is a problematic state subsidised housing project. Innovations in development techniques and land tenure models are necessary in times of far reaching change. However, innovations should be justified by robust empirical evidence if failure might have a significant impact on the intended beneficiaries. Corruption, maladministration, patronage and inefficiencies can be expected in post-conflict land administration and project governance as new politicians come into power, the state is fragile and personnel changes and power shifts occur in the civil service. Fixing major problems in housing projects arising out of poor project management and poor project governance can result in costly remedial action and tenure insecurity in the decades following project completion. If the situation allows it, external expert checks on land administration operations management and far more frequent and independent project audits, on-site inspections and audit surveys may mitigate some of these challenges.

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