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Black emerging farmers evicted from state-owned farms in North West

By | Eviction news, Eviction notice, Eviction orders, Evictions, Farm evictions
A judge has given black emerging farmers in some parts of North West two weeks to remove their livestock from the farms and that they should be evicted if they failed to leave. File Picture: Sandile Ndlovu
A judge has given black emerging farmers in some parts of North West two weeks to remove their livestock from the farms and that they should be evicted if they failed to leave. File Picture: Sandile Ndlovu

Johannesburg – A judge has ordered the forceful removal of a group of emerging black farmers who occupied several state-owned farms in parts of North West.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development bought the farms from white farmers in 2019 for redistribution purposes.

A number of farmers occupied them within months after the government paid out millions of rand to the previous owners. These were largely livestock farmers.

The ministry led by Thoko Didiza took a group of 21 farmers to the North West High Court in a bid to evict them from the farms intended for redistribution to successful black applicants.

Judge Samkelo Gura found that the farmers had occupied the farms without permission.

The farmers testified that they occupied the farms with permission from the previous farm owners and officials of the department.

Judge Gura found otherwise: “Almost all previous owners of these farms have filed confirmatory affidavits to the (ministry’s) replying affidavit. They deny that they ever gave any of the respondents permission to occupy or to graze their livestock on the land,” he wrote in the judgment.

“Therefore, the respondents were dishonest to (the) court…”

Judge Gura heard from the farmers that they decided to move their livestock on to the farms after many unfulfilled promises by officials over many years.

The judge described the group as emerging farmers from villages spread throughout North West.

Parts of the judgment read as though Judge Gura was sympathetic to the group’s difficulties in getting the government to allocate them farms.

“The experience of the opposing respondents tell of gross irregularities in the manner the applicant has gone about allocating land,” he said.

“A significant number of the farms in and surrounding the villages where the opposing respondents reside are still operated by white farmers.

“Many of the opposing respondents have made numerous unsuccessful applications for agricultural land allocation. They do not know the reasons for their applications not being successful.”

However, it boiled down to whether the farmers occupied the farms legally and at no disadvantage to those whose applications were approved. Judge Gura said the government intended to lease the farms to black farmers after a rigorous selection process.

“The respondents admit that none of them holds any lease agreement with the government over these farms,” he said.

“They are therefore grazing their livestock and utilising the land for their benefit free of charge. They refuse to vacate the properties.”

He gave the farmers two weeks to remove their livestock from the farms. They should be evicted if they failed to leave.

Reprinted from IOL

Some links added by SD Law

For further information

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

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Shots fired as police and protesters clash over evictions

By | Eviction news, Eviction videos, Evictions, Protests

Reprinted from Talk of the Town, by Iavan Pijoos – 2020-09-29

Communities in the south of Johannesburg took to the streets on Monday morning to voice their frustration about possible evictions in the area.

Johannesburg metro cops and the police were out in full force in Lenasia South and Lawley early on Monday to contain protesters. Roads in the area were blocked with burning tyres, bags with rubbish, rocks and tree branches. Officers fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.

By midday on Monday, traffic was flowing but some roads were still being lined with rubbish and rocks. Heavily armed officers and police nyalas stood on the side of the road.

Children were removing some of the rocks as motorists were driving past.

Ennerdale ward 7 councillor Danny Netnow told TimesLIVE that the protests erupted after unconfirmed reports about possible evictions in the area. Netnow said the people were also unhappy about water and electricity cuts in the informal settlement.

He said schools had been closed after the protests around Ennerdale.

In recent months, the Red Ants have demolished scores of illegally erected dwellings — some made of brick and mortar — in the area, under instruction from city officials.

Contact us

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 eviction 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. We also offer online consultations.

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CoJ anti-invasion unit to tackle land grabs

By | Eviction news, Evictions

Reprinted from joburg.org.za – 2020-08-18

City of Joburg tackles land grabs

The recent upsurge in the number of illegal land invasions has prompted the City and the Gauteng Provincial Government to launch an anti-land invasion unit to stem the tide.

Joburg tackles land grabs

The Executive Mayor, Geoff Makhubo, Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements Lebogang Maile, MEC for Infrastructure Development Tasneem Motara and Faith Mazibuko, the MEC for Community Safety launched the unit in Lenasia, south of Johannesburg on Monday, 17 August.

“I am glad that we are working together with the Gauteng province to push back these land-grabbing syndicates. We need to discourage the illegal occupation of land,” says Cllr Makhubo.

As part of the strategy to combat land grabs, Cllr Makhubo says over 1 500 patrollers will be deployed to assist the JMPD police invasions.

In addition, the City will intensify the full rollout of the Rapid Land Response Programme, which affords’ residents serviced stands to build themselves houses.

“We have developed a strategy to prevent land grabs from imploding in our City,” notes the Mayor.

Cllr Makhubo concedes that the City faces a plethora of urban development challenges relating to unemployment, climate change adaptation and spatial transformation. To ensure liveable communities and shelter for all, the City intends to address homelessness and landlessness by focusing on housing and land provision.

He says the municipality will increase housing stock, speed up the delivery of title deeds to state-subsidised housing, update housing policies and explore solutions to incorporate problem buildings (and their residents) into the municipal housing plan.

“The City will provide access to affordable, improved and mixed housing that will contribute to reducing social inequalities, improve social integration and strengthen the drive towards sustainable urbanisation,” the Mayor explains.

Free rudimentary service delivery will be expanded in informal settlements through the rollout of water, electricity and sanitation. Access to communal standpipes and sanitation in the form of Ventilated Improved Pit (VIPs), waterborne toilets and ablution blocks will also be provided.

“This will ensure that disadvantaged communities can equally access basic services associated with dignity and health.”

Cllr Makhubo says the municipality is working to improve existing infrastructure through upgrading, maintenance and renewal/replacement projects.

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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 eviction 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: