betterment, noun

Origin:
EnglishShow more Special sense of general English.
historical
Usually attributive, especially in the following phrases: betterment area, a proclaimed area in a black reserve in which a betterment scheme was applied (see also reserve); betterment scheme, a scheme, introduced in 1939, for the improvement of agricultural land in black reserves, including the consolidation of homesteads into villages, the rotation of crops, and the limitation of stock; an instance of the implementation of this scheme.
1948 H.V. Morton In Search of S. Afr. 182We went to ‘betterment areas’ where a whole village had been persuaded to fence its land and kill off half its cattle with encouraging results.
1949 E. Hellmann Handbk on Race Rel. 186A more direct attack on the problem of agricultural re-education was begun in 1939 with the inauguration of the ‘betterment area’ scheme...The inhabitants of certain rural wards were asked to agree to the voluntary limitation of their stock to the carrying capacity of the land.
1955 J.B. Shephard Land of Tikoloshe 145There are over nine hundred locations in the Transkei, but I couldn’t say how many have been proclaimed as Betterment areas.
1981 Pace Sept. 16Thousands of people..have been moved within homeland boundaries because of the introduction of the so-called ‘betterment scheme’ — controlling the use of the land by zoning off areas for agricultural and for residential use.
1985 Platzky & Walker Surplus People 9Under betterment, tribal areas are divided into residential and agricultural land. Instead of living in scattered homesteads close to fields, people are clustered into villages on poorer soil such as hill tops, while the rest of the land is divided into fields suitable for growing crops, forestry (wood lots) or grazing.
1985 Platzky & Walker Surplus People 46In many parts of bantustans such as Gazankulu and Lebowa one may drive only a kilometre or so between betterment areas and rural villages which have had to absorb thousands of landless people evicted from white-owned farms or former tenants of black spots.
1990 E. Koch in Weekly Mail 30 Mar. 11During the 1950s the village..was turned into a betterment scheme, part of the new Nationalist government’s grand plan to ensure that black villagers would remain on their tribal lands...Betterment schemes like these were fiercely resisted in most parts of the country, where peasants saw these as gross interference in their traditional way of life.
betterment area, a proclaimed area in a black reserve in which a betterment scheme was applied (see also reserve); betterment scheme, a scheme, introduced in 1939, for the improvement of agricultural land in black reserves, including the consolidation of homesteads into villages, the rotation of crops, and the limitation of stock; an instance of the implementation of this scheme.
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19481990