Wild property and its boundaries – on wildlife policy and rural consequences in South Africa

D. Snijders

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Against the backdrop of post-Apartheid neoliberal reform, South African landowners have gained the option to acquire full ownership over wild animals on their land. Corresponding with this, approximately one sixth of South Africa's total land has been 'game-fenced' and converted for wildlife-based production (i.e. hunting, ecotourism, live trade and venison production). This article analyzes the institutional process in which authority concerning access to wildlife is being restructured, and argues that the unfolding property regime leads to an intensified form of green grabbing. To demonstrate this, the article singles out three particular wildlife policy institutions which make clear (a) how private property rights to wildlife are negotiated and implemented, (b) how wildlife ownership is firmly interlocked with land ownership, (c) how natural entities are being converted to robust political and economical assets, and (d) what social consequences this has for rural South Africa. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-520
JournalJournal of Peasant Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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