South Africa: Minister Thoko Didiza Meets With Mpumalanga Farmers Threatened By Evictions

press release

Statement by Minister Didiza following the meeting with Mpumalanga farmers threatened by evictions

The Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Ms Thoko Didiza (MP) together with Mpumalanga MEC of Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs, Mandla Msibi, held a meeting with farmers and farmer organisations to address these following issues:

Farm lease agreements that have not been renewed following the moratorium in 2013

Alleged non-compliance with lease agreements

Tensions between farmers and labour tenants

Tensions amongst farmers who were made to share a farm without proper rules and clear demarcations

Alleged corruption from departmental officials.

The meeting reflected on these issues that need to be corrected in order to resolve the challenges. It was therefore agreed that:

All eviction letters that were served to farmers be withdrawn

A team from the Property Management Unit of the DALRRD will be based in the province for a period of two weeks and meet with all farmers whose leases have not been finalised

The MEC will convene a meeting with farmer organisations within three weeks on post-settlement support and agricultural development support

The MEC will meet with the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development to look at functionality of CPAs and trusts and on how to assist them

The meeting agreed that the department must speed up the title deeds process until the FALA land procedures are concluded.

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