Rosie Goldsmith tours one derelict farm
After the ending of apartheid, the transfer of land from white to black was a key ANC promise.
But many critics argue that the land reform programme has gone badly wrong, and the government is now resorting to radical solutions to speed it up.
With Zimbabwe and reminders of its disastrous land reform just across the border, South Africans are becoming angrier and more nervous.
Black land claimants complain that transfers are taking too long and they are getting too little official support.
The white commercial farmers say the redistributed farms are mostly unproductive and often abandoned.
Some of them threaten to defend their land by force.
Rosie Goldsmith reports on the struggle for South Africa's promised land, driving a political, economic and racist wedge down the middle of an already tense country.
BBC Radio 4's Crossing Continents was broadcast on Thursday, 10 July, 2008 at 1102 BST. It was repeated on Monday, 14 July, 2008 at 2030 BST.
Reporter: Rosie Goldsmith
Producer: Richard Fenton-Smith