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Farm evictions

Investigation to be launched into Western Cape farm eviction

By | Eviction news, Eviction notice, Eviction orders, Evictions, Farm evictions, Lease Agreement

Ivan Cloete and Western Cape Agriculture MEC Ivan Meyer on a tractor.

Ivan Cloete and Western Cape Agriculture MEC Ivan Meyer on a tractor.
Supplied
  • Western Cape farmer Ivan Cloete is reportedly being evicted from his farm.
  • This is reportedly the third farm from which he is being evicted.
  • Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza’s office has confirmed they are looking into the matter.

An investigation will reportedly be launched into the eviction of a Western Cape farmer.

Farmer Ivan Cloete is being evicted from his farm in Darling, allegedly to make way for a land reform claim, the SABC has reported.

Western Cape Agriculture MEC Ivan Meyer said despite productively working the land for more than a year, Cloete now faced being evicted from a third farm previously allocated to him by the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD).

Meyer alleged the eviction was being carried out “to make way for an MK veteran”.

“Cloete is effectively being denied the security of tenure on Colenso, despite having been moved from previous farms twice through no fault of his own, but rather due to DALRRD’s failure to implement and manage land reform projects under its responsibly,” Meyer said.

“Despite having in October 2019 inform[ed] the Office of the Public Protector, it reached an agreement to relocate Cloete to Colenso farm. DALRRD also indicated that it had entered into a long-term lease agreement with Cloete.”

Meyer argued that Cloete should not be evicted, in line with Disaster Management Act regulations, and said he had written to Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Thoko Didiza.

According to IOL, Cloete was removed from his previous two farms due to differences with his partners. He was reportedly moved to his current farm for his own safety. He will reportedly be offered an alternative farm.

A spokesperson for Didiza confirmed to News24 that an investigation was under way “and we are expecting a report by end of the matter. The investigation will cover all the issues raised with regards to the first allocation to Mr Cloete until the last farm he is in.”

Sourced from News24

*Simon Dippenaar & Associates Inc. is a firm of specialist eviction lawyers in Cape Town, and operating Johannesburg and Durban, helping both landlords and tenants with the eviction process. Contact one of our attorneys on 086 099 5146 or sdippenaar@sdlaw.co.za if you need advice on the eviction process or want to know the cost of eviction.

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David Mabuza’s assurance was misleading

By | COVID 19, Eviction news, Eviction notice, Eviction orders, Expropriation Bill, Farm evictions

Four months after the Deputy President, David Mabuza, assured South Africans that no farmer will be evicted from their farms under the government’s land redistribution programme, Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) officials have been going around giving farmers one-week notices to vacate their farms.

On 22 October 2020, while answering questions in the National Assembly on the government’s planned 700 000 hectare land redistribution programme, Mabuza unambiguously stated that “…those people that are currently occupying those farms (identified for redistribution), I don’t think there is any intention to forcefully remove people at this point in time”.

Mabuza’s assurance was obviously misleading because Mr Ivan Cloete, a successful pig farmer at Colenso farm in the Western Cape was recently served with a 7-day notice to vacate his farm by officials from the DALRRD’s Western Cape provincial offices. The claim by these officials that Mr Cloete does not qualify to continue practising his farming activities at Colenso farm is nothing but naked abuse of power designed to intimidate him into giving up his livelihood. The DA will not stand by and allow the use of dubious eviction orders to harass and victimise a defenceless farmer.

The unfair treatment of Mr Cloete appears to confirm well-founded fears among farmers that 700 000 hectare scheme was now being used as a cover by DALRRD officials to intimidate them into vacating their farms. What makes this state-sanctioned intimidation worse is that the farms of some of the farmers facing this intimidation do not form part of the 700 000 hectare program.

The DA has always been on record arguing that the chaotic approach to land reform will open up avenues for corrupt abuse of the process and disrupt the agricultural sector:

On 10 March 2020, I warned members of the Portfolio Committee that, even without data or information on the monitoring and evaluation of land reform, Departmental officials had been issuing eviction notices haphazardly.

During a committee session on 01 December 2020, I told committee members that farmers in the Western Cape, Gauteng and Mpumalanga who have been on the land for years, had received letters to vacate in the past year.

It is ominous that while the controversial section 25 amendment is being debated in Parliament, farmers are already facing unrelenting pressure to vacate their farms from a Department that has gone rogue. Mabuza and his colleagues in government have an obligation to stop this reckless targeting of farmers before it inflicts irreparable damage to the agricultural sector and the economy.

Reprinted from Politics Web by Annette Steyn

Simon Dippenaar & Associates, Inc. is a firm of specialist eviction lawyers, based in Cape Town and now operating in Johannesburg and Durban, helping both landlords and tenants with the eviction process. Contact one of our attorneys on 086 099 5146 or sdippenaar@sdlaw.co.za if you need advice on the eviction process or if you are facing unlawful eviction.

Further reading:

Campaigns failing to stop farm evictions, say civil society organisations

By | COVID 19, Eviction news, Eviction notice, Eviction orders, Farm evictions

Webinar highlights plight of women on farms, calls on President to honour promise

Photo of a woman with a microphone

Johanna Fransman was evicted from Soetendal farm and relocated to New Rest. She says she lost her son in January this year in a shack fire at New Rest. “I feel very disappointed in the municipality who say that they cannot give us houses. Our children are anxious to be outside, and you cannot even walk outside at night. I don’t want to be where I live,” she said.

  • Women who live on farms raised their concerns at a webinar hosted by various civil society organisations, saying little has changed for them since apartheid officially ended.
  • Thousands of people are facing evictions in the Boland.
  • The organisations compiled a memorandum of demands sent to the Department of Agriculture, Land reform and Rural Development.

Members of the Women on Farms Project (WFP) say despite campaigns, talk of stopping evictions on farms and the Covid-19 pandemic, thousands of people face becoming homeless as eviction orders continue to be approved by the courts.

The women raised their concerns at an online webinar on Tuesday, held in partnership with Mawubuye Land Rights Forum, the Social Justice Coalition, and the Legal Resources Centre.

They demanded that President Cyril Ramaphosa sign a moratorium on farm evictions, which they say he promised farmworkers in De Doorns and Paarl in 2014.

The WFP compiled a memorandum with a list of demands to put to the Department of Agriculture, Land reform and Rural Development. These include: the provision of land and decent housing for evicted farmworkers, ensuring that evictions are not granted if there is no land for alternative housing, and that government accelerate Land Expropriation without Compensation.

Director of WFP Colette Solomon said although the country celebrates 26 years of democracy, farmers “still have all the power, all the money and all the wealth”. She said, “Farmworkers, specifically women on farms, are becoming poorer. There are fewer jobs available; people are working for fewer hours; there’s more retrenchments and evictions.”

“There is more protection for farmworkers in terms of the laws but in terms of the structure of our society in rural areas, the structure is still the same [as during apartheid].

Co-director Carmen Louw said the evictions of farmworkers is a recurring issue despite the attempts of several organisations and campaigns to stop it.

“In the Drakenstein Municipality, there are more than a thousand cases on the current roll that are awaiting an outcome, and in most cases an eviction order will be granted. So, despite numerous and yearlong fights, many magistrates and land claims courts endorse these eviction orders.”

“We’ve got a supposedly superior Constitution but there’s basically no difference to the life that women in 1956 experienced in urban areas than what women on farms are still experiencing today,” said Louw.

The webinar was joined by several of the women from the Drakenstein area who were evicted from the Soetendal farm in 2015. They shared their experiences of being relocated by Drakenstein Municipality to an open plot in New Rest informal settlement. Diana Meyer of WFP and her family were among them. She said the eviction was a traumatic experience for the community.

“There weren’t proper doors or a proper foundation for the houses. Our things were thrown out and broken, while our children stood watching in confusion,” she said.

Meyers said her family do not feel safe where they now live and their living conditions are worse than when they lived on the farm.

“We feel so helpless. I just want the government to help us. We long for proper houses and for the government to give us a piece of land so that we can farm and have food to put on the table,” said Mayers.

Dawn Jacobs, of Drakenstein Civics, said that some farmers have forced workers to leave by cutting off the supply of water and electricity to their homes.

“When people are evicted and go to the municipality, they always say there’s no land available for houses and no land available for farmworkers. But the municipality is quick to approve land for private development,” said Jacobs.

“We don’t want to stay in shacks or townships. We want to remain on the farms,” she said.

The women also spoke of the violence used by law enforcement and the Red Ants when evicting farm workers, despite a moratorium on all evictions during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Denia Jansen, of Mawubuye Land Rights Movement, said they had held several engagements with the Langeberg municipality regarding police brutality but to no avail.

“There’s no clear answer as to why they are using the Red Ants and law enforcement to evict people during this pandemic,” she said.

“Nothing will change until we stand united and unite our struggles regardless of which organisations we belong to. We all need to campaign for the same thing.”

Reprinted from GroundUp by

Simon Dippenaar & Associates, Inc. is a firm of specialist eviction lawyers, based in Cape Town and now operating in Johannesburg and Durban, helping both landlords and tenants with the eviction process. Contact one of our attorneys on 086 099 5146 or sdippenaar@sdlaw.co.za if you need advice on the eviction process or if you are facing unlawful eviction.

Further Reading: