The Security of Farm Workers Unit aims to assist rural indigent farm workers and dwellers/occupiers in the Western Cape to enforce their rights in terms of the Extension of Security of Tenure of Act of 62 of 1997 (ESTA) by providing the capacity for activist legal intervention thereby giving effect to these persons’ constitutional rights.
By representing occupiers in pending evictions cases, we aim to facilitate access to justice and ensure that justice prevails for these marginalized and poor communities. Some cases have even resulted in settlement agreements to the benefit of occupiers. Examples of these settlement agreements include: extended stay for occupiers on farms, suspension of the eviction until an occupier has relocated to a new home with the assistance of the Unit, negotiations for informal dwellings such as “wendy houses” at the cost of the farm owner, dismissal of the eviction in light of outstanding wages, annual leave pay still due and/or non-compliance with other provisions of ESTA.
In addition to engaging in litigation, the Unit undertakes a number of other activities which include: training of farm workers, networking, information dissemination and telephonic advice.