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The extension of security of tenure amendment act.


The extension of security of tenure amendment act.

Category Legal

The Extension of Security of Tenure Amendment Act (‘ESTAA’) is scheduled to come into effect on 1st April 2024. ESTAA is designed to address numerous loopholes created by the principal Act, ESTAA is underpinned by the need to facilitate long-term security of land tenure and prevent unjustifiable evictions of vulnerable, farm-dwelling families.

To that end, it introduces various changes to the land tenure framework, the most notable of which include:

  • Providing for the establishment of a Land Rights Management Board and Land Rights Management Committees – comprised of representatives of farm dwellers, labour tenants, communal property associations, organised labour and local government structures – to identify, monitor and oversee land-related conflict and dispute resolution processes;
  • Expanding and clarifying the definition of ‘occupier’ and inserting new definitions for ‘dependent’ and ‘family’ to accommodate spouses (of unregistered or customary marriages), children (both biological and adopted), parents, grandchildren, and grandparents with the aim of preserving the long-term security of occupiers of agricultural land;
  • Introducing additional requirements which must be met prior to the granting of an eviction order, namely making it compulsory for parties to attempt mediation pre-instituting legal proceedings, empowering courts to determine reasonable weather conditions under which an eviction order may be executed, and for an impugned occupier to have legal representation, unless he/she expressly waives this right and the court determines that doing so does not subvert the interests of justice;
  • Giving relatives the right to erect, maintain and visit other relatives’ graves, and requiring the landowner to facilitate reasonable access in instances where the relatives no longer reside on the farm;
  • Replacing the provision for subsidies with tenure grants to enable occupiers and former occupiers to acquire suitable alternative accommodation, and compensate owners for the provision of accommodation and services to occupiers and their families.

Ultimately, these changes operate to further the long-term security of land tenure for farm workers and their families, and to rectify the imbalances of the past.

Author STBB - Annetjie Coetsee
Published 26 Mar 2024 / Views -
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