AFRA News, Land News

Association for Rural Advancement: Tenants should become neighbours

Published in the Daily Maverick on the 24th February 2016. See the published article here.

No liberation is complete until the land question is resolved. But even civil society efforts to deal with the problem have stalled in recent years, which is why the new leadership at the Association for Rural Advancement is a welcome breath of fresh air. By YVES VANDERHAEGHEN.

Land reform is in chaos and that makes a lot of work for land activists. Just ask the new team at the helm of the Association for Rural Advancement (AFRA), the venerable land rights organisation founded which was founded in 1979 but still finds itself at odds with the state. It’s been six months since they took over, and it’s been “full-pelt, non-stop – and that’s an understatement,” says director Laurel Oettlé. “And she’s still here,” quips her deputy, Glenn Farred.

Photo: Glenn Farred (left), and Laurel Oettle, leading the resurgence of the land NGO, the Association for Rural Advancement. (Tom Draper)Laurel and Glenn

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AFRA News, Labour tenants, Land News, Uncategorized

Residents waiting desperately for help

Down a grass covered track on Jindon Farm, less than a kilometre from the Umshwathi Municipality offices, a painfully thin Gogo (granny) sits dejected on the damp floor of a mud house. Sixty-eight year old Dumazile Magwaza stares at the wood smoke curling up through the many holes in the roof, her stained, ragged clothing barely hiding her skeletal legs, one of which is so damaged that she can hardly move.


Dumazile Magwaza sitting on the floor in her damaged home. Photo: Rebekka Stredwick

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AFRA News, Labour tenants, Land News

Labour Tenants Rising Strong


by Laurel Oettle

As we watched and recorded over 90 Labour Tenants and supporters march to the Land Claims Court in Randburg, Johannesburg, on Friday 29th January, I found myself awash in a whirl of emotions. Hope, elation and anxiety all swirled along with the familiar songs and chants, memories of struggles past of which I had only read, the loud blaring of the police sirens, and the sun already high and holding the promise of the heat of the long day ahead.

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