South Africa: Land Rights Holders Square Up to Ingonyama Trust

analysis

The connection between 5.2 million South Africans and security of tenure to their lands and homes is the burning issue in a landmark case coming to court.

The Legal Resources Centre (LRC) will be in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on 22 November on behalf of Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac), the Rural Women's Movement (RWM) and seven informal land-rights holders to challenge the compulsory signing of lease agreements at the behest of the Ingonyama Trust Board.

Casac and RWM are acting in the public interest, while the seven informal land rights holders are representing a class of all people who have already been instructed to convert their Permission To Occupy (PTO) or informal land rights to long-term lease agreements.

For these seven individuals, this fight is personal and the group includes single mothers, factory workers, pensioners, farmers and fathers trying to provide for their families. They have worked the land for which they are now being forced to pay rent; they have built their homes and their lives on this land, along with the other 5.2 million residents of the Ingonyama Trust lands. The connection between those 5.2 million South Africans and security of tenure...

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