The Khomani San of South AfricaThe San peoples of South Africa have over the past century been decimated to the point of virtual extinction. Those that survived were driven off their traditional land, and forced to exist alongside the more powerful and dominant cultures of pastoralists and colonial landowners. Fewer and fewer San practised their ancient culture, and as a group they and their lifestyle became a thing of memory, as the San lost touch with the Kalahari wilderness. A group of San peoples, representing a number of language groups and known as the ‡Khomani San, decided in 1994 to launch a land claim under the new constitution. They claimed return of their ancient rights in and to their traditional land in the Southern Kalahari, most of which lay within the present Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
In March 1999 the first phase of the land claim was completed, as the government returned 40,000 ha of farmland outside the park to the San. This land, six farms in all, is to be used for the benefit and development of the approximately 1,000 San that are now members of the overall Trust and thus registered co-owners of this land. The intention is to use the land for game-farming, eco-tourism, and other related activities.
However the most important phase of the land claim still lies ahead, namely the negotiation and finalisation of the rights of the San in and to the park. This paper records some of the most important aspects of the land claim process.Some emphasis is placed on how the culture and knowledge systems of the San, forged by their ancient relationship with the harsh Kalahari wilderness, are being captured in the Cultural Resource Mapping process, and utilised both as a necessary basis for the land claim, as well as a powerful tool to re-build a oncedispersed and demoralised community. The vision of all those involved in the process is that the final agreement will produce a development model in which conservation of biodiversity is integrated with conservation of the culture and the very essence of the ‡Khomani San as a people.
THIS PUBLICATION HAS BEEN BROKEN DOWN INTO CHAPTERS FOR THE WEBSITE. TO SEE THE FULL DOCUMENT AND OTHER CHAPTERS CLICK HERE.FOR A HARD COPY OF THE COMPLETE BOOK CONTACT THE FPP OFFICEISBN: 0 9544252-1-9; Pages: 312 Binding: Paperback.