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Impact of land restitution benefits on Water, Energy and Food (WEF) misgovernance and social injustice

Environmental and Sustainability Indicators

Ngarava, S.


Land restitution has been used to achieve redistributive justice. However, such social justice has been compromised by the misgovernance of water, energy, and food (WEF) which has resulted in distributive injustices and compromised welfare outcomes. The objective of the study was to ascertain the land restitution benefactor impacts on WEF misgovernance in lieu of offsetting social injustice. The study was carried out in Matatiele, Magareng and Greater Taung Local Municipalities in South Africa. A purposively selected sample of 1184 households was obtained through a cross-sectional survey using a semi-structured questionnaire. Vulnerability indices, independent sample t-tests and Propensity Score Matching were used to analyze the data. The results showed that land restitution beneficiaries were vulnerable to WEF misgovernance relative to social injustice. In addition, becoming a land restitution benefactor had a significant impact and increased the level of vulnerability to WEF misgovernance. This was mainly through increased exposure and sensitivity to WEF misgovernance. Benefiting from land restitution did not have an impact on vulnerability to WEF social injustice, even though exposure and adaptive capacity to social injustice were increased. The study concludes that benefiting from land restitution increased vulnerability to WEF misgovernance while having no impact on social injustice. The study recommends improving access and fixing dilapidated WEF infrastructure in land-restituted areas. Furthermore, there is a need to implement livelihood-improving programs in addition to social protection support to enhance access to WEF resources. Water, energy, and food (WEF) decision-making should be decentralized to improve participation, governance, and procedural justice.

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