SAHRC visits farming communities

SAHRC Free State Provincial Manager, Buang Jones. Photo by Katleho Morapela.

The South African Human Rights Commission’s Free State provincial office has embarked on a three-day site visit to rural and farming communities in the Xhariep district. According to the provincial manager, Buang Jones, the site visit is aimed at intensifying human rights awareness campaigns amidst an increasing number of farm eviction cases.

Jones says in the past year they have referred several eviction cases to Legal Aid South Africa and they continue to play a facilitative role in these cases. He adds that during the three days they will host outreach clinics to improve farm dwellers’ well-being and educate them on the protection of human rights and what they could possibly do in cases where these rights are violated.

“We felt it was imperative to look at the distinctive needs of people in rural and farming communities who felt the brunt of farm evictions, who are violated on a daily basis, and who, because of their surroundings, do not have access to the commission or information provided by other legal agencies” said jones.

“The commission realised that there has been an increase in farm evictions and many farm dwellers visited in these areas faced several challenges when they are evicted illegally with their homes often being destroyed upon eviction. The outreach clinics are therefore aimed at amplifying human rights education and strengthening support to affected communities,” he said.

Jones also mentioned that during the commission’s last visit to other rural and farming communities it was discovered that there is a high need to intensify human rights awareness campaigns, as affected people in most cases are not aware of appropriate measures to take.

Jones adds that during this outreach the commission will work together with other institutions to help communities find solutions to challenges they are confronted with and to ensure that their human rights are protected. During the three-day site visit the SAHRC provincial office will visit Jacobsdal, Koffiefontein, Petrusburg and neighbouring communities.

Katleho Morapela/ Courant News