AGRICULTURAL NEWS - Based on his extensive experience in representing mostly KwaZulu-Natal landowners in labour tenancy claims lodged against them, attorney Rob McCarthy of McCarthy and Associates believes the process is inherently biased in favour of claimants.
He speaks to Lloyd Phillips about this challenge, and gives landowners advice on how best to fight false labour tenancy claims.
What is the status of labour tenancy claims in South Africa?
In 2003 or thereabouts, the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) sent labour tenancy claims and associated notices in terms of Section 17 of the Land Reform (Labour Tenants) Act 3 of 1996 to affected landowners.
My law firm was tasked by landowners with handling just over 1 600 of these claims throughout KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and a small number in adjacent provinces.
I was told that there were about 7 000 labour tenancy claims throughout South Africa. During the past three or so years, the Association for Rural Advancement (AFRA) took the DRDLR to the Land Claims Court (LCC) as a class action to represent labour tenancy applicants in general, and achieved a court order compelling the DRDLR to process and finalise the many claims outstanding since 2003.