22 March 2019

South Africa: Farmworkers Demand Their Rights While 20,000 in Drakenstein Municipality Face Evictions

Farmworkers across the Western Cape are still facing evictions from farms with up to 20,000 people facing evictions in one municipality. While South Africa observed Human Rights Day on 21 March, farmworkers question when their rights will be respected and enforced by the president and the Ministry of Rural Development and Land Reform.

"Hulle hang ons aani hakkies draad, ons soek vir Cyril om ons los te maak" sang 200 farmworkers and dwellers as they marched to Parliament, calling for an end to farm evictions in the country, especially in the Western Cape.

Translated into English, this Afrikaans protest song means, "they hang us on a wire fence, we're looking for Cyril to set us free."

The marchers, predominantly women associated with the Women on Farms Project -- a non-profit organisation that helps female farmworkers in communities around the Western Cape -- strode to Parliament and called for president Cyril Ramaphosa to stick to his 2014 commitment to ban legal and illegal evictions.

In 2014, while still the country's deputy president, Ramaphosa promised to halt farm evictions after a meeting with agricultural and labour representatives in Paarl, Western Cape, according to City Press.

But on Wednesday, the day before Human...

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