A useful aspect of new community land law is that ‘community’ is liberally defined. This has origins in the National Land Policy of 2009, which directed Government to: “Document and map existing forms of communal tenure, whether customary or contemporary, rural or urban, in consultation with the affected groups, and incorporate them into broad principles that will facilitate the orderly evolution of community land law“(National land policy Para. 66a).
Why community land ownership?
The Constitution in turn identifies communities for the purpose of landholding as those “identified on the basis of ethnicity, culture or similar community of interest” (CON Art. 63 (1)). The Community Land Act defines community as meaning “a consciously distinct or organized group of users who share any of the following attributes: common ancestry, similar culture or unique mode of livelihood, socio-economic or other similar common interest, geographical space, ecological space or ethnicity” (CLA s. 2). Community of interest is defined as “the possession or enjoyment of common rights, privileges or interests in land, living in the same geographical area or having such apparent association” (CLA s. 2).