A century after the adoption of the Land Act and the failure of the land reform two decades ago, groups of peasants in South Africa continue to fight for equal access to resources and to the benefits of agriculture. The claims and the request for support of these farmers will be the first Just Cause-IYFF 2014. Send to us your Just Causes, and we will promote global solidarity with them!
The World Rural Forum launches the Just Causes-IYFF 2014, an initiative that, periodically, will highlight different campaigns promoted by family farmers worldwide. The first of these calls come from South Africa, where different peasant organizations have recently started a campaign in their struggle for land and agrarian reform. While shouting Mayibuye l’Afrika!, they made an appeal for international support, for a cause shared by thousands of farmers worldwide.
After 99 years of the 1913 Land Act and nearly two decades after the failed land reform, the patience of South African landless people is fast running out. Less than 6% of land has been redistributed and land reform projects have failed to result in equitable access to resources or to benefit from agriculture.
A recent research, entitled The Agrarian Rural Household Economy and published by ten NGOs -in twelve rural sites in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, and the Western Cape- shows that land and agrarian transformation is an illusion for the majority of South African rural areas.
Skewed land ownership patterns remain entrenched and levels of rural poverty remain high. Many rural people live with insecure tenure, and 1 in 4 households experience periodic hunger.
Moreover, the commodification of food from seed to table and the monopoly of large agri-business keep micro and small-scale farmers out of the established marketing channels.
Last summer, as it marked 99 years of June 19, 1913 and Native Land Act, these South African peasant organizations launched a year-long campaign to reverse land dispossession as well as to advocate for land and a true agrarian reform.
Community actions are expected across the country:
- Night vigils to commemorate the 1913 Native Land Act.
- Consciousness building on the history of land dispossession.
- Marches for access to land and to reopen land restitution claims.
- Defending community land claims at the Land Claims Court.
- Land occupation where land claims are still not settled.
- Exposure of human rights abuses in nature conservation areas.
These are some of the most pressing demands:
- Protect the rights of farm dwellers.
- Reopen the restitution claims process.
- Secure equitable rights to land and other resources.
- Defend the rights of women and children.
- Democratic structures for land ownership and management.
- Effective support to micro- and smallholder farmers.
- Necesity of a RADICAL land reform.
The 99 YEARS WITHOUT OUR LAND. MAYIBUYE I’AFRIKA! campaign also calls for a People’s Land Summit in 2013 and a Charter of Rural Rights to deepen rural democracy.
Call for international support
As a show of international support, we request that organizations and citizens who stand in solidarity with the aims of Mayibuye l’Afrika! send an e-mail supporting the campaign to the public authorities, so that they become aware of the reality experienced by South African farmers. Find attached the addresses of potential recipients of these messages, and a sample letter to be sent.
Just causes – IYFF 2014
The World Rural Forum, as a coordinator of the civil society for the International Year of Family Farming 2014, launches the initiative of Just Causes-IYFF 2014 in order to provide comprehensive support to proposals, campaigns and activities that share the goals of the IYFF-2014.
Being aware that many of the women and men family farmers’ problems and challenges are common worldwide, boosting claims of agricultural and civil organizations becomes a form of solidarity between farmers worldwide, as well as an opportunity to exchange experiences on coping with similar aspirations.
Send to us your Just Causes, and we will promote global solidarity with them!