South African Journal of Agricultural Extension
Print version ISSN 0301-603X
TERBLANCHE, S. E.. Mentorship a key success factor in sustainable land reform projects in South Africa. S Afr. Jnl. Agric. Ext. [online]. 2011, vol.39, n.1, pp. 55-74. ISSN 0301-603X.
The Land Reform Program is a priority program in South Africa to redress the matter of land ownership. However the number of failures of projects implemented is alarmingly high and the majority of projects are not sustainable. Some popular articles and reports however indicated successes and the positive role that the mentor has fulfilled in the success of the project. This has led to the research study to determine why it seems as if a mentorship program is a key factor in sustainable land reform. Fifteen mentors and 20 protégé's (new farmers) were personally visited and interviewed. The findings show that there are essential qualities and characteristics that a mentor and Protégé should satisfy to ensure a successful mentorship program. The qualities and characteristics linked to a mentor are: a knowledgeable, respectful and trustworthy person, while those of the protégé are: a committed, respectful and hard working person. The establishment of a mentorship relationship is essential for success. Obstacles that could hinder the program are a lack of willingness, no commitment and a negative attitude, while the availability of a viable and sustainable business plan for the farm is non-negotiable.
Keywords : Mentorship; personal characteristics; land reform; agriculture; business plan; sustainability.