A Special Assignment Investigation
Special Assignment continues its four-year-long investigations into alleged elite capture of land reform. Benzi Masilela is a small-scale farmer whose family have worked for generations on a farm in Mpumalanga. Countrywide farmers like him say they have been betrayed by the government’s alleged inability or unwillingness to provide them with security of tenure.
Farm-dwellers, communal property associations and land reform beneficiaries in three provinces tell us of the neglect, fraud and duplicity allegedly perpetrated by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform. The Department is meant to be a gatekeeper who oversees the equitable redistribution of land to emerging farmers and impoverished, landless communities. The Department is alleged to be in cahoots with politically connected individuals and corporations who have allegedly diverted funds from the very people whom it is should benefit.
Over four years, the Department of Rural Development has consistently ignored our repeated requests for interviews. Even the Presidency has not acknowledged our emails alerting them to the desperate circumstances of the communities we have interviewed.
There is an urgent need for government to address alleged capture of agricultural land reform. With elections upon us, we ask whether the fruits of agricultural land reform are only for the elite few who enrich themselves at the expense of rural livelihoods.
The Lie of the Land Part II was produced for Special Assignment by Hazel Friedman. Watch Special Assignment on SABC 3 and the News Channel at 21h30 on Sunday evening.
For more information contact Special Assignment on 011 714 5419
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