With the Assistance of the Legal Resources Centre (LRC), the Association For Rural Advancement (AFRA) has filed papers in the Land Claims Court against the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) due to the Department’s failure to perform its functions in terms of Land Reform (Labour Tenants) Act No. 3 of 1996.

Failure to process applications for the acquisition of land and to give notice to the farm owners of the contents of the applications for acquisition of land lodged by labour tenants in South Africa has led to labour tenants and AFRA, taking legal action against the DRDLR. The application seeks to:

  • Declare that the Director General’s ongoing and persistent failure to process or refer applications brought by labour tenants in South Africa, is inconsistent with the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, particularly sections 9, 10, 25(6), 27(1)(b), 30, 31, 33, 34, 195 and 237.
  • Compel the Director General to process, or refer all outstanding applications within one (1) year.  For the purpose of this application “process” means taking any of the steps the Director General is required or permitted to take in terms of sections 16-18 of the Act.
  • Direct that the Director General should file a report with the Land Claims Court and the report shall deal with the following issues:

–       Identify all the applications filed in terms of section 16 that have not been settled or referred to this Court;

–       For each application, indicate whether it has been:

  1. Sent to the owner of the land in terms of section 17(2)(a) of the Act;
  2.  Gazetted in terms of section 17(2)(b) of the Act; and
  3.  Subject to settlement negotiations under section 18 of the Act.

The Director General and the Minister of the Department of Rural Development And Land Reform have recently been served with the court papers.