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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

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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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SABC News exposé on land eviction yields positive results

By | Eviction news, Eviction orders, Evictions, Farm evictions

The Department of Land Reform has successfully managed to acquire permanent accommodation for 12 families who were evicted by the owner of a farm near Ventersdorp in the North West.

The group – comprising of 51 members, including 20 children –  with all their belongings were evicted almost two months ago, and were forced to spend two nights on the street.

They are currently being accommodated in a community hall at Tshing township in Ventersdorp.

The plight of the families was exposed by SABC News two months ago. Since then, both national and provincial government authorities have intervened.

Efforts to secure permanent accommodation for them, seems to have yielded positive results.

The Department of Land Reform has managed to purchase a 205 hectare farm in Hartebeesfontein near Klerksdorp worth R1.4 million.

The Department’s Director for Tenure and Reforms, Richard Sebolai, explains: “We have identified a property by the name of Hartebeesfontein, it’s in extend of 205 hectares. We have already finalised all the processes of acquiring this property. We have signed sale agreements, we have submitted your guarantees to the conveyers who have been appointed by the owner of the property. Our branch special land use management have already drawn a plan which actually shows where the settlement is going to be.”

The provincial human settlements department is also on board. Its Chief Director, Tshepo Phetlhu, says they are assisting the affected families by building them temporary houses.

“We looked at our programme and we said let us assist the 12 families that are evicted through a programme called the emergency housing programme. To that end we then appointed service providers to do same, which as we speak the service providers are on site. They started to construct houses and we are hoping that they will conclude soon.”

Commitment to providing basic services

Matlosana Local Municipality Ward councillor, Mathapelo Seitisho, says her municipality will provide basic services to those relocated.

“We will just provide our community with water, sanitation and also electricity, because we are still using the temporary structures. Where there is a need for permanent structures, we will also be there,” says Seitisho.

Spokesperson for the evicted workers is 54-year-old, Julius Moeketsi.

He has expressed their gratitude for the intervention.

“I am very happy because that is what we really needed, as our living conditions in that hall are very bad particularly during this winter period.”

Government officials are optimistic that the relocation of these families will be completed late next month.

Reprinted from SABCNEWS (emphasis by SD Law*)

 

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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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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