26 June 2014

South Africa: SA Labour Union Calls for Land Reforms

Mafikeng — SOUTH Africa's labour union has appealed to government to accelerate the land redistribution exercise.

The influential Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), an ally of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), raised concern over the sloth in implementing the programme.

The union's North West Province branch supported the amendment of the Extension of Security of Tenure Act (ESTA), which deals with allocation of land to the poor farm workers and dwellers that had been “racially and emotionally” exploited for years.

COSATU North West Provincial Secretary, Solly Phetoe, said his federation wanted the ANC-led government to speedily address the land imbalance to benefit the poor.

“We will not accept the opposing of the act by some farmers who want to continue to see farm workers being poor as they are, being evicted during winter, being dismissed any time when a farmer want and ending with nothing or a place to stay,” he said.

Phetoe said the organisation would seek legal redress if there was resistance.

“We call on government to move with speedy so that farm workers are also able to run their own farms and are able to create jobs and provide food for their families and the people of the NW, which can only happen when they are given land with massive training and equipment.

"We want to warn those farmers who think that they will oppose the legislation in court that COSATU will be there to support the act for the benefits of the poor farm workers," Phetoe said.

His comments follow the stance by the new opposition Economic Freedom Fighters.

The party, led by former ANC youth leader, Julius Malema, is campaigning for nationalisation of mines and banks.

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