Women of land
plot given to them by the inkosi in 2005.
The women, over time, built two six-bedroom houses and outbuildings and spent R3500 clearing a second plot, which they were given for farming. But, before they could plant, the land was given to other people by the induna, with the inkosi’s knowledge.
In 2011, residents were informed that they would have to sign leases with the ITB.
“When I tried to conclude the lease in my name, I was told that the Ingonyama Trust does not allow a woman to conclude a lease on her own and that I needed a male relative to conclude it on my behalf,’’ said Nkosi.
Despite her protests, she applied for a lease along with her then partner, Zakhile Khanyile, who had played no role in developing the homestead. She was not told how much she would have to pay.
“The first time I found out how much the rent would be was when the lease eventually arrived in the mail with the rental amounting to R1 680,’’ she said.
Nkosi, who supports her late sister’s children, said she had not paid the rent since the 40-year lease was issued in April 2011.
“I have not paid the rent because I cannot afford to pay it. The little money that comes into our household is used to take care of the children. Also, the lease is not in my name and my rights are not protected like they said they would be,” Nkosi said.
She said that when she first took the lease “I did not fully understand what was going on. Now I see how much it has weakened my rights.” She said that she had paid the once-off fee for the land to the induna as required.
“Now they want me to pay the Ingonyama Trust every year. I do not even understand where the money from the leases is going because it is not going to the community,’’ she said. ‘’I do not understand why the Ingonyama Trust is coming to our communities and requiring these things from us.’’
Unequal: The rights of women are further undermined by the fact that some amakhosi and the Ingonyama Trust demand that leases be signed by men. Photo: Delwyn Verasamy