Bill on farm workers’ tenure

2010-12-23 00:00

GOVERNMENT plans to pass into law the Land Tenure Security Bill which aims to secure land rights for farm dwellers.

The bill was recently approved by Cabinet and will be gazetted and taken for public hearings early next year. It seeks to separate farm workers’ employment contracts from their right to reside in their dwellings.

On its website, the department said the bill will help secure land for the millions of people across the country that live on farms which they do not own and where they do not have secure tenure.

It said often these farms dwellers face human rights abuses including evictions.

The department said the bill will allow for the building of agri-villages, industrial parks and other initiatives aimed at creating economic and social support for the farm communities.

It will help people facing eviction by resettling them and providing them with accommodation. It will also make funds available to appoint lawyers for people living on farms who need them.

Nkwinti reportedly said current legislation had been unable to protect farm dwellers and has proven to be ineffective.

“The Bill will replace the Extension of Security of Tenure Act (ESTA) and Land Titles Adjustment Act (LTA). It introduces a Land Rights Management Board to support and sustain agri-villages which are intended to deal with sustainable human settlements and food production.”

He said tackling the issue of tenure rights of farm workers was one of the key issues contained in the department’s land reform plans.

Eddie Mohoebi, the communications manager at the department said public hearings on the bill will take place early next year.


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