AFRA News No. 62 December 2007
Being a Farm Dweller - S. Mkhize
Being a Farm Dweller
I do not know whether I will still be here tomorrow
I do not know whether I will sleep here tonight
I do not know whether I will wake up here tomorrow
I am not sure if I will still be here next month
I am not sure if I will still be here next year
I am not certain what the future holds for me
I am no longer feeling well because of my age
I am no longer strong and not fit to go to work
What will happen after my retirement from work?
What will happen with my benefit and land-rights?
Will I be able to continue living on this land?
Definitely no, because I am a farmdweller, an object.
Will my kids be able to go to school tomorrow?
Will they still use the same route they are using now?
Will the school be demolished sooner or later this year?
I have heard that the landowner will shut it down
He said kids are making loud noise on their way to school
The reason being farmdwellers’ kids means being victims
Now that my livestock have been removed from the farm
I have been informed to decrease the number of chicken
Now that my dogs have already vacated the farm
I have to find an alternatives place for my children
Now that they are old they must vacate the farm
They have no rights because they are farmdwellers’ children
My neighbours are lucky as they will still live on the farm
Their oldest sons are able to cut sugar cane on the farm
I do not want to think about the future rights now
Will my remains be buried on this land after death?
After fifty years of labour under harsh working conditions
Denial of rights, that is what residing on farm is all about
The hut I am living in is now falling down
The land owner told me not to renovate it
He told me that he prepares to evict me, by the way
So, I must start looking for another place to stay
He told me I am now useless on the farm
So useless objects must be thrown away
I do not think about the infrastructure
I know very well, I am a forgotten citizen
I do not even think about basic services
I have been denied all of these services
I do not dream of security matters
I am being beaten up everyday of my life
I cannot report this to government structures
I cannot report this to government officials
I cannot seek for assistance from councilors
I cannot even shout out, as they won’t listen
They do not know that I even exist at all
I am a farmdweller, a non-existing object
Oh! What about my dignity as a human being
I am not only a farmdweller on this land
I am not only a labour tenant on this land
I am a complete human being like a farmer
I am also a citizen of this country like a politician
Land and Local Government: Implications of Restitution AFRA News No. 61 December 2006
Land & Local Government: Problem or Potential?(Part 2) AFRA NewsNo. 60 May 2006
Land & Local Government: Problem or Potential? (Part 1) AFRA News No. 59 Jan 2006
Matters of life and death. AFRA News No. 58 Nov 2004
Land Reform: 10 Years on. AFRA News No. 57 May 2004
List of AFRA News Articles: 1988- 2008
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