Women of land

Mail & Guardian - - News -

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.