AFRA News No. 65 October 2009Amajuba –Situationalanalysis of thelandless farmdwellers
Many farm dwellers in the Amajuba District Municipality struggle with land reform, and the government, especially local government, can do much more to improve their situation. Recently, AFRA and farm dweller committees undertook research to establish the true situation in the district.
The main findings of the research are:
Poverty is exacerbated by the lack of access to suffi cient land to improve livelihoods.
Many people are dependant on government grants and buy food that they should be producing.
There is absolutely no support for subsistence farmers.
The burden of healthcare and education falls on the poor farm dweller communities.
Most of the population is female whose rights are still insecure,and usually linked to the male head of household.
There is an established trend of women headed households.
There are no youth interventions.
Youth are despondent about education and experience a high drop out rate due to the lack of secondary schools, long traveling distances and lack of fi nancial support to further their studies.
The launch of the research on 22 June 2009 at the Amajuba Council Chamber, brought together key government departments, farmers, civil society, The Mayor, councillors and traditional leaders, and initiated dialogue on the situation of farm dwellers and how their lives could be improved. AFRA hopes that the research findings will inform government’s understanding of the issues facing farm dwellers and will be a lobbying tool in their struggle for a better life on farms.
Farm Dwellers and Government officials at the launch of the Amajuba land use plan in Newcastle