In this virtual meeting, the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development and the Portfolio Committee on Employment and Labour received briefings on the recommendations made in the reports by the High Level Panel on Assessment of Key Legislation and Fundamental Change and the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture. The reports – published in 2017 and 2019, respectively - focused specifically on land tenure issues faced by farmworkers and farm dwellers in rural areas. The presentations were made by two academics.
Members were informed that the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) found widespread non-compliance with the Extension of Security of Tenure Act (ESTA), a disturbing lack of knowledge of ESTA by all role players, a lack of compliance with the legislative provisions of ESTA in some court proceedings (resulting in farmworkers being evicted in terms of comment law), high numbers of evictions associated with the change of farm ownership and a failure of the State to adequately train its officials to implement the legislation. This resulted in a high rate of illegal evictions. The High Level Panel agreed that government needed to implement a training programme for the South African Police Service (SAPS), Prosecutors and Magistrates on understanding, interpreting and implementation of ESTA and the Land Reform (Labour Tenants) Act (LTA).
Amongst its recommendation. the Presidential Panel said that the Minister should drive a participatory and consultative process to develop a new White Paper on South African Land Policy. Further, it advised that the National Land Reform Framework Bill be drafted to operationalise the constitutional rights of citizens to gain access to land on an equitable basis.
The academics highlighted that the challenges with the implementation of legislation and policy pointed to the need to strengthen the role of Parliament. In discharging its oversight mandate, Parliament needed to ensure compliance with legislation and implementation of programmes arising from the relevant legislation. It needed to institute strict penalties. It was proposed that the Committees establish a reporting template that required the departments to report on certain items with a certain level of detail and quality. It was suggested that concrete timeframes needed to be established. It was suggested that a small number of urgent strategic interventions be prioritised.
A Member highlighted that it was disheartening to hear that there was a lack of political will and enforcement, according to the presentations.
Members noted that they had witnessed many of the issues outlined in the Reports during their oversight visits. The need for proper performance measurement was noted, specifically concerning monitoring the progress of the executive. The need to strengthen Parliament’s oversight of the executive was well-acknowledged.
A Member noted that fewer ‘talk shops’ needed to take place - many promises had been made that needed to be fulfilled by government. The Ministers and Deputy President needed to be called for a report back. It was concerning that three years after the reports, nothing had been seen. It was suggested that permanent bodies must be set up to deal with the issues. Concerns were raised about the youth living on farms, who did not necessarily work on the farms and their land tenure rights. It was suggested that a consolidated report of all the recommendations made to date be compiled. This would assist the Committees in establishing performance indicators in monitoring the progress of the executive. The role of agri-villages was questioned, specifically their value to farmworkers and dwellers. Clarity was requested regarding the proposed role of ‘land rights protector,’ given the roles of the Human Rights Commission and Public Protector.
Chairperson Mandela welcomed Members of the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development and the Portfolio Committee on Employment and Labour to the joint meeting.
He noted the apologies received from members of both Committees.
He stated that the recommendations and findings of the assessment on legislation passed since 1995 suggested that no new legislative reform was required. Good citizenship and a commitment to the founding principles of democracy were needed. There were many stories and examples of individuals who had overcome many obstacles, against all odds, to reach success in the country’s history. One needed to understand the impact of centuries of colonialism on the minds of the people. This was intrinsically related to the challenges faced in the agricultural sector, especially in deep rural areas. Many had embraced national reconciliation, and by implication had been model citizens in whatever area of life they found themselves. It was those that had been defiant against embracing national reconciliation, who had held onto labour practices that were dehumanising and violated the current legal prescripts who were unwilling to transform. This had been particularly rife in the Extension of Security Tenure Act (ESTA), where poor government administrative capacity had served the cause of those unwilling to transform. The agricultural sector had the potential for job creation and poverty alleviation as well as economic growth.
There would be two presentations during the meeting, one from the High Level Panel on the Assessment of Key Legislation and Acceleration of Fundamental Change and the other from the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture.
Presentation: Security of Tenure for Farm Dwellers, Farmworkers and Labour Tenants
Dr Anika Classen, Researcher, University of Cape Town (UCT), presented the findings and recommendations of the High Level Panel on Assessment of Key Legislation and Acceleration of Fundamental Change. She noted that she was only one member of the panel. Thousands of farmworkers testified about the terrible conditions in which they continued to live and the failure of government to enforce the law. All of the Panel’s work was contained in the Report, freely available online or from Parliament.
Mr N Masipa (DA) raised a point of order highlighting that he had not received the presentation.
The Chairperson stated that this could be re-sent to him.
Dr Classen apologised. She had not circulated the final version of the presentation and would do so immediately.
Dr Classen continued that the presentation comprised extracts from the High-Level Panel (HLP) Report. There were a number of similarities between what the HLP and the Presidential Advisory Panel (PAP) recommended. She would focus on the actual input, and the presentation by the Presidential Advisory Panel would provide updates about what had happened since the High-Level Panel Report in 2017.
Parliament passed two main pieces of legislation intended to give effect to the State’s Constitutional obligations for land tenure security. This was land tenure security for farm dwellers and farmworkers, being the Extension of Security of Tenure Act (ESTA), No 62 of 1997, and the Land Reform (Labour Tenants) Act (LTA), No 3 of 1996. ESTA dealt with the relationship between farm dwellers and land owners. It provided a set of procedures to try and limit unlawful eviction from farms. LTA made provision for labour tenants to acquire land due to their historical tenure on the land. Both Acts had redistributive components. She outlined the historical development of the Acts, including the 1997 White Paper on Land Policy.
The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) findings found widespread non-compliance with ESTA, a disturbing lack of knowledge of ESTA by all role players, and a lack of compliance with the legislative provisions of ESTA in some court proceedings (resulting in farmworkers being evicted in terms of comment law), high numbers of evictions associated with the change of farm ownership and a failure of the State to adequately train its officials to implement the legislation. This resulted in a high rate of illegal evictions, among others. The SAHRC Report identified that there seemed to be a lack of political will to implement the law and provide services to farmworkers and dwellers. This was the primary cause of failure, as opposed to attributing this to the inadequacies in the laws passed to protect farmworkers rights. Despite many reports to this effect, the failure of implementation was not addressed. She noted a lack of understanding regarding the legislation protecting farmworkers.
The HLP agreed that government needed to implement a training programme for the South African Police Service (SAPS), Prosecutors and Magistrates on understanding, interpreting and implementing ESTA and LTA. ESTA violations needed to appear on the SAPS database. It was also recommended that a national register of farm dwellers be tied into a national register of all off-register rights. The register should be compiled by a Chapter 9 Institution or the Legal Aid Board. It was proposed that there needed to be an information campaign on multiple media platforms. The Panel made recommendations about the enforcement of the LTA. The Mwelase Constitutional Court Judgement was handed down in 2019, it established a special master to ensure the recalcitrant Department enforces the Act.
Recent policy appeared to have defaulted to the commercial farming model as the only viable and appropriate form of agricultural production. The implementation of early laws that sought to facilitate the subdivision of agricultural land for redistribution, and to secure the de facto land rights of vulnerable categories of people (such as farm workers and those in former homeland areas), appeared to have been put on hold. There was also the failure to set aside dedicated funding to fulfil legal mandates.
The challenges with the implementation of legislation and policy pointed to the need to strengthen the Parliament's role as a public representative. Parliament has developed a model to fulfil its oversight role, and there were various capacity-building initiatives, including those with tertiary institutions, to strengthen the capacity of its members. The success of these initiatives would be demonstrated by their ability to detect problematic aspects of legislation and to resolve tensions, conflicts or lack of coherence between different laws. In discharging its oversight mandate, Parliament needed to ensure compliance with legislation and implementation of programmes arising from the relevant legislation. It needed to institute strict penalties. She highlighted three court judgements that highlighted the failure of Parliament to institute the recommendations since the HLP Report.
[For further information see the presentation]
Ms M Tlhape (ANC) stated that based on the recent oversight visits the Committees had undertaken, there was a long way to go, specifically where oversight and tenure were concerned. It was disheartening to find out that there was ‘no political will’ according to the Report and not enough was being done on enforcement. The most crucial matter was the legal representation of farm worker evictions. She agreed with the HLP Report that the matter be removed from private law firms to Legal Aid with oversight. What was found on the ground was that farmworkers did not win cases against their employers. The lawyers knew the employers in the local area etc. The recent court judgement could not be left unattended – based on what was alluded to in the presentation. A meeting should be held on this to develop a plan to help and hold the executive accountable. Not enough was done for the farm dwellers. It was concerning that law enforcement and others did not understand the legislation.
Mr Masipa commended the work done by the HLP. He felt that the Committees had missed the boat somewhat. Everything presented that day had been reflected on during their oversight visits. There was no need for the Committees to have gone on oversight. The same issues had been captured. He asked for clarity about any timeframes included in the HLP Report. He emphasised the need for the Committee to plan properly to conduct its oversight responsibility; the scheduling of the meeting was a case in point.
Mr N Hinana (DA) requested clarity about the company called ‘ZZ2.’ This Company was said to be benefitting the elites at the expense of farmworkers. He asked for clarity about the failure to understand the legislation. He asked who Dr Classen recommended should coordinate and provide training on the legislation. Tenants did not receive support from the Department of Labour. What should be done in the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) to avoid the conflict occurring on farms?
Mr S Mdaba (ANC) noted the need for a proper performance measurement mechanism for the Committee’s oversight of the executive and departments. The manner in which it was designed spoke to the reality of what was happening on the ground. The HLP Report confirmed this. There needed to be a restructuring that spoke to the performance on the ground. The statement about corrupt officials seemed to be too general. He was not expecting the Report talk about investigations, but it should somehow reflect the areas where corruption took place.
Ms C Mkhonto (EFF) noted a recommendation about training on the legislation. During the oversight visit, the need for accessibility of services to farm workers and dwellers was observed. They were located far from police stations etc. How could that be addressed? In all engagements with SAPS, complaints about implementing policies approved by Parliament had been made. Maybe during those training sessions, SAPS could indicate which clauses needed to be amended. She supported the training. It was evident that there was no political will – this was seen in the meeting. Some Members had decided not to attend the meeting, their reasons were not known. She had never seen white farmers arrested or convicted for transgressing these pieces of legislation. She suggested that there would always be an imbalance in power and land ownership. Land ownership needed to be balanced between Whites and Blacks in South Africa.
Ms T Breedt (FF Plus) stated that the HLP Report confirmed what was seen on the ground: there was no political will. Some departments were not successfully exercising their mandates. There needed to be timeframes and proper programming. She agreed that training was a good idea. It was worrying to hear the lack of understanding about the legislation. There needed to be funding for ESTA specifically. She noted the suggestion that Parliament was not fully exercising its oversight role. She asked if Dr Classen had suggestions for enforcing oversight. She personally was frustrated with oversight, given that promises were made on the ground that were never followed through by former Members. It was important to note the alignment of the findings of the two reports and the oversight visits of the Committees.
Ms T Mbabama (DA) echoed the points raised by her colleagues. She noted the gap between the legislature and the executive. There was a need to intensify oversight of the executive as a matter of urgency. Communities were suffering. Farm owners were still doing as they wished to farm workers and dwellers. The executive's responsibility was to look into these issues and the departments. Parliament could not implement. The Executive needed to tell Parliament what was being done regarding implementation. Progress reports were needed on these matters, as well as awareness campaigns.
Mr S Matiase (EFF) stated that a presentation like this was being done for academic purposes. It had no real impact on the ground for the lives of the people. It was an intellectual exercise of ‘elites.’ For as long as agrarian relations on the farms remained the same and land ownership patterns remained, one could talk until ‘one turned blue in the face.’ Nothing concrete would emerge from this exercise, no matter how much one wanted to amend the legislation, etc. He emphasised that there should not be ‘cosmetic’ change.
Ms Thlape asked what happened when farmworkers or dwellers were evicted. Where could they go to record the matter -the Department of Labour, Agriculture or the police? It was like a ‘hot potato.’
The Chairperson stated that this agenda was part of the Committee’s initial programme and was adopted by both Committees. Due to the challenges in the parliamentary programme, the Committees ended up having to postpone the oversight visit. This included the departmental briefings which were now scheduled for 9 and 16 September 2022. The joint committee meetings would take place on Fridays going forward.
There was a finding in the Report, that there was ‘total systems failure’ which contributed significantly to the weakening of secure tenure of farm dwellers. He asked that Dr Classen explain what was meant by ‘total systems failure.’ What would a system redesign entail if one looked at corrective measures? How would one redesign the system? During their oversight visits, there were notions of ‘private property’ being used to deny farm dwellers and labour tenants access to services such as to clean drinking water and electricity. Many roads were also inaccessible to farmworkers and labour tenants as a result of the introduction of fencing. How should this be addressed?
There were intentions arising from the redistribution of land. Labour tenants believed they were undermined by the LTA, which was not prioritised. In the HLP’s work, what had been their observation? What should be done to ensure labour tenants’ applications were given full respect, just as restitution and redistribution applications? There were calls for expropriation of land of abusive farmers for the benefit of farm dwellers. The HLP Report addressed the question of expropriation to speed up land redistribution, including the redistribution for securing rights of farm dwellers. Did the HLP Report make a finding about factors that made it difficult to expropriate land, including the idea of expropriation without compensation? The role of Parliament and its weaknesses was a matter that needed further discussion. What did she think Parliament could have done differently to avoid the court proceedings?
Dr Classen responded that this meeting had re-inspired her. Firstly, she addressed the question about the ‘ZZ2’ Company. The Panel had heard the same rumours at the hearings. She did not know anything more than the rumours regarding collusion. The question of training was important, she suggested that Parliament approach the Legal Aid Board to design training and the Justice College to train magistrates and judicial officers. This was quite complicated because magistrates and the judiciary were independent. There was a Justice College that could develop a curriculum in which they updated all the judgements and the implications of those judgments. The Justice College regularly provided training for magistrates and judiciary offices. There were bodies that were well placed to carry out the training, as opposed to the Department. A partnership with the Justice College or Legal Aid could be beneficial. There was a parliamentary-mandated training process that could breathe new life into the issue of a lack of information, which was used as an excuse to allow for evictions to continue.
She noted the questions around the need for better oversight, she suggested that the next presentation would address this. In her view, Parliament needed to set the criteria that it wanted the Department to report on. It was not for the Department to set the criteria for how they would report to Parliament. Farmworkers first port of call was the police – as these acts were a criminal offence (evictions).
The term ‘total system failure’ was adopted by the Department itself. This would be dealt with more in the subsequent presentation. On the issue of private property, she was very passionate about this. It was a myth that private property gave one absolute ownership. People do have beneficial rights. The way these rights were taught in law school elevated ‘title’ as a system of exclusive ownership. However, many academics had shown that there were coexisting rights on property – title did not give one the right to overrule other rights (i.e. the environment, rights of way, occupation and use). It did not give the owner the right to evict tenants. Owners did not have the right to cut off water and other services. Perhaps the laws needed to be made more explicit in terms of property rights.
In the roundtable discussion on expropriation without compensation it was acknowledged that the legislation already provided for expropriation without compensation in certain instances.
Chairperson Mandela noted the point made not to come up with ‘cosmetic’ solutions and broadly acknowledged the issues faced by farmworkers and farm dwellers. He highlighted the issue of not acknowledging the grave sites. Many of the problems arose from law enforcers, where they were more favourable to farm owners.
Ms M Thlape (ANC) took over as Acting Chairperson for the remainder of the meeting.
Presentation: Presidential Advisory Panel Report
Prof Ruth Hall, Research Chair in Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, University of the Western Cape (UWC), presented the recommendations and findings of the PAP on Land Reform and Agriculture Report.
She highlighted the familial and gender disparities around land tenure rights on farms. Access to education was an issue, particularly the closure of farm schools resulting in young children being sent from their homes to stay with relatives or friends to access education. One of the central provisions of ESTA was the long-term provision of tenure security for the elderly (over 60 years) who had been on the land for more than ten years. The most recent sample survey of evictions took place in 2004, published in 2005. These statistics were presented for consideration.
The recommendations included that the Minister should drive a participatory and consultative process to develop a new White Paper on South African Land Policy. Agrarian reform needed to produce a greater variety of types, scales and forms of land use and production which were dynamic and allowed growth and accumulation along the spectrum of landholders and land users. It was recommended that the National Land Reform Framework Bill be drafted to operationalise the constitutional rights of citizens to gain access to land on an equitable basis.
The Panel addressed the issue of expropriation without compensation – which was not necessarily to the benefit of farm dwellers. Land donations were a source of contention within the Committee, as it was not a solution on its own.
It needed to be noted that there was a legal framework that had not been implemented. She highlighted the key calls made by farm dwellers, including ending evictions and expediting mechanisms for secure tenure rights. Municipalities needed to include proposals for on-site settlement options for farm dwellers. National government needed to review the farm schools policy to ensure the right to education for children residing on farms. The SAPS system needed to be reformed so that illegal evictions and violations of section 23 of ESTA were registered as criminal offences. Police, prosecutors, magistrates and attorneys should be provided with training. Labour tenants needed to be a priority group, these were black farming families already on the land. One of the recommendations was to amend regulations to the Act to address overlapping labour tenant and restitution claims. A proper time-bound, costed and publicly available plan for implementation needed to be established. Parliament would need to then monitor the implementation of the plan.
Widespread consultations needed to be initiated to inform drafting processes of the Land Records Bill, overseen by a working group with expertise and appropriate representation. Following this, it needed to be prioritised for tabling in Parliament. The process should draw on lessons from experiments and pilots already underway in South Africa and in other African countries. These included low-cost technologies and blockchain options that would, over time, enable locally-registered rights to be subject to arbitration and reflected in the Deeds Registry. The Deeds Registry Act would need to be amended to provide for records of diverse forms of land rights.
Summary of what Government & Parliament had done since the Panel Reports
The ESTA Amendment Act of 2018 did not address the problems, it replaced ‘subsidies’ with ‘tenure grants’ made available to farmers (land owners). The Inter-ministerial Committee on Land Reform did not report publicly on its progress, thus one could not assess its effectiveness. The Legal Aid Board recruited Thabiso Mbhense; a land unit was due to be established.
Government was taken to court for not implementing the Labour Tenants Act (Mvelase Case of 2019) and for not providing municipal services (Mshengu case of 2019). In the latter case, the Judge rejected the ‘private land’ argument.
At the end of 2019, the Future of Farm Workers Conference took place. The main problems identified included growing inequality among farmworkers and job losses. The issue of evictions was highlighted, as well as the resulting growth of informal settlements in farming areas. It was noted that the minimum wage was both insufficient and not enforced. Police, labour inspectors, DALRRD officials were all unresponsive. A number of key demands and positions came out of the conference, these included bringing parity to minimum wages and enforcement of this. Stopping of evictions as well as the prosecuting of farmers for illegal evictions and rejection of equity schemes. Municipal commonage needed to be made available and expanded.
In terms of minimum wages, the prediction of mass unemployment were not realised. This was thought to be due to the job-shedding that had occurred earlier (i.e. mechanisation). Few farmers applied for exemptions. Even though there was a 52 percent rise in minimum wages after the 2012/13 farmworkers strikes, it was estimated that 90 percent of farmworker families were still living below the poverty line. There were concerns around reducing the number of hours being worked and the insecurity of seasonal work.
It was proposed that the Committees establish a reporting template that required the departments to report on certain items with a certain level of detail and quality. It was suggested that concrete timeframes needed to be established. It was suggested that a small number of urgent strategic interventions be prioritised.
[For further information, see the presentation]
Ms Breedt appreciated the recommendations made on how the portfolio committees needed to go forward. There were a lot of ‘talk shops’ and dialogues, many promises were being made by government and there was never a report back on that. The Ministers and Deputy President needed to be called for a report back. The PAP Report was quite controversial at the time. It was worrying that almost three years later, nothing had been seen. Were there timeframes included in the Report relating to the recommendations? Problems of service provision were a real issue that needed to be addressed, this issue had been seen in the Eastern Cape, where it was not just the farmworkers or dwellers but the farmers themselves that did not have access to electricity. She noted that equity schemes did not necessarily work and that people needed title deeds and ownership – that was something she thought the committees should focus on. The plight of farmers, farmworkers and dwellers needed to be considered holistically. She suggested legislation was not clear on that.
Ms Mkhonto stated that it was interesting that the oversight visits to consider the living conditions on the farms had sparked this whole debate. It was clear that these issues were deep-rooted. She did not think there needed to be so many ad-hoc interventions – there needed to be permanent bodies to deal with these issues. She suggested there needed to be a land ombudsman and land rights courts, with specialists placed in those courts. Courts were overwhelmed with other issues.
Mr Masipa noted that ESTA stated that people needed to have been living on the farm for ten years and be older than 60 years. Young people living on the farms were sitting with the issue of insecurity of tenure and were not necessarily working for the farms that they were staying on. He asked Prof Hall to provide clarity on such a situation. There were clear failures of the DALRRD, specifically its reluctance to do what it is supposed to do. The Department of Employment and Labour was also left wanting. There were issues of budget and lack of capacity. He did not even want to comment on the issue of justice and the police. He noted the possible disinvestments. The problems continued even after those inhabitants were given tenure security – particularly where farmers were moving out and disinvesting. Those challenges would need to be addressed. If there were no timelines given to Parliament or the departments, relating to the recommendations – it was important to get there. Would one be seeing more court cases coming up on these issues? He noted the point about the tenure grants and subsidies. Which was better and why? He supported the recommendation that the inter-ministerial committee come and engage the committees about land reform and rural development. The issue of the Legal Resource Centre was ultimately about capacity. The provision of water and other services by municipalities was concerning. This issue was being picked up around the country. Were there any recommendations to address that issue? He suggested the performance indicators needed to look at restitution and land reform separately.
Mr Mdabe suggested, based on what was presented, that a consolidated report be prepared of all the recommendations to date in the various reports and conferences. This would allow the committees to engage on the way forward. There seemed to have been a lot of work that had been done since the dawn of democracy to date. It was a question of whether the Committees had a consolidated plan of action.
Acting Chairperson Thlape stated that she had a couple of questions about ESTA and LTA. She asked what Prof Hall’s view was on ‘agri-villages.’ Some people argued that government must acquire land and set up agri-villages where farmworkers or farm dwellers could be based. There were attempts to improve tenure rights and redress the injustices of the past, this included the share-equity schemes between farm owners and farm workers. In KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), there had been farm owner initiative empowerment schemes. In view of the push toward private sector partnerships and agriculture, did Prof Hall think these schemes worked? What could be done to improve the share equity schemes? She asked that Prof Hall elaborate on the land rights protector. What would be the role of the land rights protector, how different would it be from the Human Rights Commission and Public Protector?
Prof Hall appreciated that most Members had noted that something needed to be done differently. A number of people had endorsed the idea of calling both Ministers and the Deputy President to report on progress of the inter-ministerial committee. ESTA was a modest law – it did not state that farm dwellers had absolute rights to continue to live where they did. Young people still had tenure insecurity, despite perhaps wanting more security. People’s rights were being eroded underneath them. People were living under worse and worse conditions. If there was a household where only one person was employed, other family members could not take employment opportunities on a neighbouring farm or establish their own small businesses.
She noted some of the questions about agri-villages and equity schemes – people needed to decide what they wanted. Agri-villages had largely been driven by farmers who wanted to get state financing through which to evict people and yet have them conveniently close by. The demand for agri-villages did not seem to come from farmworkers themselves. When they did express a need or interest to have their own land and retain the possibility of access to wage employment, it was to have both the option of subsistence farming and access to housing. It was the stand-off between the State and the farmers rather than the interest of farmworkers. On equity schemes, there had been a number of damning reviews. Power had not shifted, and the equity schemes had paid out very little – so there was no financial benefit. There was a theoretical benefit of being a shareholder.
The Pietermaritzburg court case stated that municipalities needed an action plan and needed to know who lived on the farms. She noted the question about the interpretation of total systems failure – particularly of the Department. To some degree, there did not seem to be sufficient capacity. There used to be dedicated officials called ESTA officers. These officers had a sole mandate to exercise this law. There was a concern about it being due to a “can’t” or “won’t” mentality. Repeatedly one had seen the Department appealing cases where farm dwellers had succeeded in litigation. The State was essentially asking the courts to let them off the hook. One needed to ask whose side the Department were on. Pushing the onus back on farm workers was problematic. The idea of the land rights protector emerged in the Presidential Panel, because of the need to have an oversight to which people could turn when the institutions that were meant to address one’s rights and to respond to rights violations failed to do their job and to do special investigations into patterns of abuse. The idea of a land rights protector would be duplicating another institution’s functions if the Land Court was functional and effective and there were accessible means of mediation and arbitration. She suggested there needed be broader participation, perhaps through representation to allow for feedback from the Department to farmworkers and the other way around. It would be important to develop a reporting template, where officials, the police commissioner and others could report on progress. This would allow for robust engagement.
She suggested it would be possible for her and her colleagues to provide a summary of the recommendations made to date, in the various reports, to assist the Committees. That could provide a basis for the departments and Ministers to report. This could allow the Committees to be more demanding of requesting specific answers from the executive when they came to account.
Mr Mdabe agreed that this would be helpful. He added that he was initially confused as to which reports were being spoken about when Prof Ruth Hall Spoke and Dr Anika Classen.
Acting Chairperson Thlape stated that the consideration and adoption of minutes would be deferred to the next meeting.
The meeting was adjourned.
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