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Tenants should become neighbours


Land reform is in chaos and that makes a lot of work for land activists. Just ask the new team at the helm of the Association for Rural Advancement (AFRA), the venerable land rights organisation founded which was founded in 1979 but still finds itself at odds with the state. It’s been six months since they took over, and it’s been “full-pelt, non-stop – and that’s an understatement,” says director Laurel Oettlé. “And she’s still here,” quips her deputy, Glenn Farred.


They’re certainly up against it. Land is littered with more moribund policies and obscure acronyms than there are acres of success. “We haven’t done well on land,” says Oettlé.

By “we” she means both government and activists. This realism doesn’t dampen the enthusiasm from the pair. But after years in the doldrums a resurgent AFRA suggests that the land struggle may be getting a second wind.


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