As South Africa transformed from the apartheid system to a non-racial democracy, so a number of land reform and land tenure options were proposed during the negotiations leading up to the first elections in 1994. Accompanying these proposals were a number of suggestions for the determination of cadastral boundaries and for registering land. The community in the Browns Farm settlement had experienced high levels of violent conflict prior to their settling there and it was important to measure, amongst other factors critical to effective land administration, what system of cadastral boundaries would be appropriate in such a settlement in the long term. Aerial photographs of the as built situation overlaid on a digital file of the legal cadastral survey layout suggested a different system to what a series of interviews with officials indicated. The study could not be completed as researchers were prevented from interviewing residents, and for security reasons ground surveys were also stopped. However, a number of other cases where ground surveys could be completed provided conclusive support for the findings emanating from the Browns Farm study; i.?e. the existing system of fixed boundaries surveyed to high precision is the most appropriate.