Growing up on a farm was not a walk in the park. In the mornings we had to milk the cows, take them to their grazing land, take a bath and walk a mile to school. By the time we got there, we were exhausted and unable to work productively.” says Musa Madlala, a youth from a farm.
"The farm owners wanted us to work for them and not focus on important things like education. At eighteen you were evicted from the farm because the farm owner said you were old enough to support yourself and should therefore leave."
“All these things happened because we were living on privately owned land and were not given the right to challenge the farmer. We worked for lower wages because of our status as labour tenants. We felt inferior and thought we would never do better. These things still happen today with government policies that favour the landowners and government has not provided any basic services.”
Musa worked for three years on the farm as a stockman, earning only R350 a month, but he saved his wages and registered for an Executive Secretary’s course. After studying, he secured in-service trainingin a land rights organisation and joined the Landless People’s Movement.
“Life has improved and I now know my rights, but policies and legislation are not being implemented."
"Our parents are still victims of the landowners, and it is up to the youth to get involved. This will only happen if we receive assistance from the government and other institutions in respect of political education, bursaries, funding and land and human rights workshops."
“Young people on farms have to rise up and fight against any substandard treatment by working hard to better our lives, so that we do not go through the same things that our parents went through.”