South Africa: Tenuous Tenure - Deputy Minister Aims to Give Farmworkers More Muscle


The laws regarding farmworkers and dweller evictions will be amended, according to the deputy minister of agriculture, land reform and rural development, Mcebisi Skwatsha. The move has been tentatively welcomed by activists, who say the outcome must be tenure protection, especially for female farmworkers and dwellers.

Farmworkers are to be given more protection against eviction, says the deputy minister of agriculture, land reform and rural development, Mcebisi Skwatsha.

In his budget vote speech vote in Parliament this week, Skwatsha said, "We are in the process of revamping the Extension of Security of Tenure Act of 1997 to protect one of the most vulnerable groups in our society - farmworkers".

"We've asked [for this] a long time ago," said Carmen Louw, one of the directors of the Women on Farms project, an NGO that works with women in agricultural communities in the Western and Northern Cape. According to the NGO, up to 20,000 people have been evicted - both legally and illegally in the Drakenstein municipality.

The Extension of Security of Tenure Act (ESTA) is a piece of legislation designed to protect farmworkers and dwellers when farmers want to evict them from their property.

But, Louw told Daily Maverick that under...

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