Training Workshop in Newcastle – Amajuba, 02 & 03 July 2015
By Siyabonga Sithole
AFRA, through its ICCO-funded Farm Dweller Legal Support Project, plans and carries out training workshops in farm dweller communities in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) where rights-violations are prevalent. It is the view of AFRA that a right not known is as good as a non-existent right. Farm dwellers need to be capacitated to take control of their own struggle to protect their own rights. AFRA has built and maintained partnerships with community leaders and community based organisations across the KZN province in the quest to give those in the proverbial hole tools to dig themselves out. The youngest of the already mentioned partnerships being the AFRA chaired FARM FORUM; made up of municipal ward councillors in municipalities within the KZN midlands, a representative of CoGTA , FAWU and SEFA.
AFRA organised this training to equip SEFA members with the necessary information to effectively assist farm dwellers in the Amajuba area. 30 members of SEFA were invited to the 2-day workshop held at Majuba Lodge. This group was made up of 10 members from each of the following areas; Bothas Pass, Dannhauser & Utrecht.
The training was facilitated by AFRA’s Siyabonga Sithole and Nokuthula Mthimunye, who designed the programme to deal with specific issues that farm dwellers & workers in Amajuba are faced with. The facilitators adopted a train-the-trainer approach and invested as much time as possible on each item in the programme in the aim to achieve the necessary level of capacity for SEFA to be able to disseminate accurate and relevant information to clients. The 2-day programme comprised of the following items:
- The AFRA Labour Tenant Class Action
- Taking Statements From Clients
- Relevant Government Departments to Refer Cases to
- Rights & Responsibilities of Occupiers and Land Owners
- Organisational Internal Communication
- Labour Relations Act
The workshop was a success as participants showed good understanding of concepts and were actively involved throughout the training. During the last session of the workshop SEFA chairperson Mama Mthembu had the following to say, “It is inevitable that new programmes & projects will direct AFRA to focus on other areas of South Africa and spend less & less time in Amajuba. As much as this is the last thing that SEFA would ask for, we are nonetheless grateful and thankful for all the information that AFRA has passed on to us over the last decade or so. Today we are able to stand as informed and confident leaders of farm dweller communities thanks to invaluable efforts of AFRA representatives such as Thabo Manyathi, Ndabe Ziqubu, Isaac Sibeko, Philip Shabalala, Nonhlanzeko Mthembu, Nokuthula Mthimunye and Siyabonga Sithole.”