White family planting tobacco in Rhodesia 1958 at their family farm.

ZIMSEC O Level History Notes:Zimbabwe 1894-1969: Land Apportionment Act (1931)

  • After deliberation of the Morris Carter Commission in 1925, it was agreed that land in Zimbabwe be divided into three areas
  • Whites got prime land which was 51% of the total land
  • Africans onwed about 30% of the land but it was in less productive areas
  • Africans were given reserves and Native Purchase Scheme
  • The only way Africans could own land was either through a collective trust called Tribal Trust Lands (TTL) or Native Purchase Areas
  • This Act was passed in 1931 and was racist and segregatory in nature
  • Africans were restricted from acquiring prime land by this law
  • Very few Africans could access the capital funds needed to buy large pieces of land available to them in the Native Purchase areas
  • The European got areas in the uplands with higher rainfall and thinner soil
  • These areas were optimal for large scale, mechanized farming and included mainly irrigated areas and very large scale foreign owned ranches
  • Africans became permanent workers on European farms
  • The Act paved way for more racist and colonial policies to consolidate the powers over land

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