Farmworkers protest at Parliament for moratorium on evictions

2019-03-20 21:57
Farm workers marched to Parliament on Wednesday to demand a moratorium on evictions.  (Ashraf Hendricks, GroundUp)

Farm workers marched to Parliament on Wednesday to demand a moratorium on evictions. (Ashraf Hendricks, GroundUp)

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Over 200 farmworkers marched to Parliament on Wednesday to hand over a memorandum demanding an immediate moratorium on farm evictions, an urgent meeting with the minister of rural development and a task team to address farm evictions, GroundUp reported.

In 2014, then deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa promised a moratorium on farm evictions. That promise is yet to be fulfilled.

Organised by the Women on Farms Project, the memorandum said that evictions in the broader Cape Winelands and the Drakenstein municipality have become a crisis. Twenty thousand people are at risk of eviction on Drakenstein farms. Colette Soloman, director of Women on Farms, said that farmers were still "illegally evicting farmworkers" and at the same time "we see luxury housing developments going up".

"Where must we go? We are born on farms," said Jo-Anne Johannes, a farmworker from Simondium.

Protesters held up placards saying, "Give back our land now", "Women demand land".

"You don't want to live in our situations. You don't want to come to our towns, to our farms to live in shacks," said Johannes to presidency official Charles Ford, who accepted the memorandum. Johannes said that she was facing eviction but was refusing to move.

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