State asked to stop evictions

Seven civil organisations have asked the department of land affairs to declare a moratorium on the eviction of farm dwellers.

Seven civil organisations have asked the department of land affairs to declare a moratorium on the eviction of farm dwellers.

Speaking at a press briefing in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, yesterday, Nkuzi Development Association's Teresa Yates said the association had handed over a memorandum to the department, asking Agriculture and Land Affairs Minister Lulu Xingwana to declare a moratorium against further evictions.

"We have called on the minister to declare a moratorium. Government has a responsibility to ensure that people are not abused and evicted illegally," she said.

According to the association, nearly 1,7million farmworkers had been evicted illegally from 1894 to 2004, while over one million had been evicted from 1994 to 2004.

"We have engaged with government, and we've heard promises that things would change. However, we are sceptical," said Yates.

She said such cases are often not taken seriously.

Chris Ravuku of the Land Access Movement of South Africa [Lamosa] said: "Farm dwellers also have a right to basic human rights such as affordable housing and education, and not to be evicted from farms illegally." - Sapa

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