Greytown tenants: ‘Just expropriate the farm’

2011-12-08 00:00

THE tenants of Hillerman farm in Greytown say the government should expropriate the farm on their behalf since the landowner has refused to allow infrastructure for services to be installed there.

The tenants are involved in a protracted land battle with the owners of Marina Beach Farm. They recently reported the Land Affairs Department to the Public Protector for its failure to acquire the land on their behalf.

In 2003 the landowner tried to evict the families, but they got a reprieve when the case was delayed on technical grounds.

The department intervened and tried to buy the land on behalf of their claimants, but so far nothing has come of the process.

Jeffrey Ngobese, who spoke on behalf of the labour tenants, said the community is becoming increasingly frustrated at the lack of progress.

“What we understand is that the farmer was willing to sell a portion of the land to the labour tenants, but the inefficiency of the department official has caused the delays there.”

He said the delays have put the community at risk of being passed over by the Umvoti Municipality in its drive to deliver services to the rural areas.

“The municipality is planning to electrify the Greytown/ Muden area and put in water and sanitation services.

“This will not happen in Hillerman because the people do not own the land and the landowner has said he will not allow any services to be delivered.”

Martin Platt, the manager of the Lot 194 Marina Beach Farm which owns Hillerman farm, confirmed they had refused service delivery on their farm.

Sipho Dlamini, a spokesperson for Land Affairs, said the department is still negotiating and it could take up to four months to finalise the process.

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