Land equity for farm workers

The Director of PLAAS, Prof. Andries Du Toit yesterday wrote an opinion piece for The Daily Maverick about on the announcement that government will push ahead with the controversial “fifty-fifty” policy on strengthening the rights of farm workers.

This policy proposes that those who have worked and lived on a farm for ten years or more should by law get a proportional share in the ‘land’ or ‘equity’ on the farm.

Du Toit writes that this has not been one of the South African government’s most well received or popular proposals.

"In fact, when it was initially announced it was met with consternation, and condemned by a wide range of stakeholders. Commentators pointed out that it was badly drafted, probably unconstitutional, difficult to implement, and unlikely to benefit farm workers in any case. Even organisations representing farm workers or speaking for their interests did not support it. At the South African Land Tenure Summit, a consultative conference organised by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform in September 2014, the draft policy was rejected out of hand by two separate commissions, and the Department was told to go back to the drawing board.

But in spite of these objections, government appeared determined to implement it. And in his State of the Nation Speech on Thursday, President Zuma announced that the ‘fifty-fifty policy’ would be piloted on 50 farming enterprises in the coming year.”

Listen to the interview Prof. Du Toit did with John Maytham for some more context:

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