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Labour tenants still in limbo as government ignores court order

Author: Ernest Mabuza

The Legal Resources Centre on Wednesday sent a notice to the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform asking it to comply with a Land Claims Court order to report on the labour tenant claims. The deadline was March 31.

Labour tenants, who work for farmers in return for the right to live on and use land on the farm, could apply for rights over the land they occupy, including ownership rights, under the Land Reform (Labour Tenants) Act.

About 19 000 such tenants made applications before the March 2001 deadline. They hoped that their applications would be processed speedily and that they would be given secure tenure over the land which their families had lived on for generations.

Fourteen years after the deadline for lodging applications lapsed, thousands of labour tenants are still waiting for the determination of their claims.

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