The most secure form of landholding in the Cape colony was eigendom, which was used mostly in Cape Town itself for houses and smallholdings. Eigendom was a form of outright ownership (i.e. freehold) but had stringent rules attached to it. In particular, the owner had to cultivate the land to its maximum capacity, pay one tenth of the produce to the government of the colony and allow (without compensation) any kind of road building that the government deemed necessary on the land.The second most secure form of landholding was quitrent, which was introduced in 1732. The government leased out plots of land for periods of 15 years in return for a rent of 2 skillings per morgen per year. The leases could be renewed with the agreement of both parties; if the lease was not renewed then the government paid for any land improvements made by the landholder in the lifetime of the lease…. The long length of the leases and the promise of compensation for unexhausted investments gave the farmer good incentives to make investments in the land (such as installing drainage, putting up buildings, using long-lived fertilizers and so on)… In England the farmers were not holding land from the government but from local private landowners; this meant that the farmers had recourse to an independent judiciary in the case of any land dispute. This was not true in the Cape colony, where the landowner (i.e. the Company) was also the judiciary… the quitrent system was virtually never used in Cape colony…By far the most common form of tenure… was the loan-place system. This was a form of annual rent fixed at 12 rixdollars per year (24 rixdollars per year from 1732 onwards) plus an annual stamp duty of 6 rixdollars per year... The loan-place farmers generally enjoyed de facto long term tenure, in that the government very rarely refused to renew a lease, but their de jure tenure was always limited to one year and this generated considerable uncertainty. One of the locals claimed that: “When the Company discovered that the farmers grew slack in the payment of their taxes, they without hesitation put their property to sale, seized upon their wagons, utensils of husbandry and cattle…. Dutch farmers at the Cape were extremely vulnerable to direct government action, such as immediate eviction, because they were on one-year leases and the government was their landlord. In fact, illegal land occupation (squatting) was by far the most common form of landholding in the Cape colony
Especialmente interesante es el análisis de la evolución de la productividad: la mayor intensidad en el uso de capital y el carácter fijo – temporalmente – del volumen de mano de obra explica la evolución de la productividad y el incremento sustancial de la inmigraciónIn fact, a comparison with other frontier regions shows that the growth rate of the Cape colony was exceptionally slow up to 1843 and was relatively fast after 1843: the Cape changed from being the worstperforming colony in the group to being the best-performing
The acreage in production was not responding to an increase in population; the population was responding (up to 1865, at least) to the increase in acreage. In fact, there was also an unanticipated positive shock that substantially boosted the population of the Cape colony after 1865: the discovery of diamonds in 1867 and gold in 1886. But these events fortuitously followed the increase in the Cape’s ability to feed itself, rather than led it.