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Bid to prioritise land claims

The Land Claims Court yesterday ordered the Department of Rural Development and Land Affairs to prioritise claims lodged by farmworkers, labour tenants and farm dwellers who have allegedly been left unattended for the past 14 years. 

Farmworkers are allowed by law to apply for ownership of the land they live on in their capacity as labour tenants. 

However, their applications have allegedly been pushed back. 

According to the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) – the organisation that represented farmworker Bhekindlela Mwelase – more than 22000 labour tenants across the country remain in limbo as the land claims process drags on. 

Mwelase and his family lodged their claim 20 years ago but Hilton College Estate still refuses to recognise them as labour tenants and the department has delayed their application. 

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