Call to halt evic­tions of farm­work­ers

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - BULELWA PAYI

THE Women on Farms Project has called for a mora­to­rium on farm evic­tions and has asked for an ur­gent meet­ing with Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa in a bid to en­force work­ers’ land se­cu­rity ten­ure.

From Jan­uary un­til the end of June more than 200 fam­i­lies in the Cape Winelands were evicted and/or threat­ened with evic­tions by farm own­ers.

The project’s spokesper­son, Car­men Louw, said on Friday they had laid crim­i­nal charges against a farm owner in Si­mondium, near Fran­schhoek af­ter al­leged il­le­gal at­tempts to evict three fam­i­lies from the land.

Louw said the land owner in­structed pri­vate se­cu­rity con­trac­tors to close off the homes of the fam­i­lies in an at­tempt to force them off the land.

They suc­cess­fully evicted one of them, Shaba John­son, af­ter they dis­carded his be­long­ings.

The other two fam­i­lies on the land, in­clud­ing a 74-yearold woman and her hus­band, have been threat­ened to leave by the end of the month.

“We chal­lenged the evic­tion as it was il­le­gal. The owner, Elsabe Rabe, had no right to do so – she was try­ing to cir­cum­vent a lengthy and costly le­gal route.

“We laid charges against her with the po­lice,” Louw said.

Rabe was not avail­able for comment.

In Raw­sonville, farm­work­ers held a protest march in sup­port of a call for ex­pro­pri­a­tion of land for se­cu­rity of ten­ure for farm­work­ers.

She hoped that the meet­ing with the pres­i­dent would take place soon as they had re­ceived an ac­knowl­edge­ment of the re­ceipt of their re­quest.

The first is­sue of GQ fea­tur­ing a solo South African fe­male cover, with tele­vi­sion per­son­al­ity, ra­dio host and busi­ness­woman Bo­nang Matheba. See page 3

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