Since 1994, government has introduced numerous laws, policies and initiatives to regulate and improve the situation and rights of farm dwellers and farm workers, who remain among the most vulnerable in society.
However, unintended consequences have created a climate of uncertainty in the agricultural sector, exacerbated by the continued eviction of farm dwellers and workers from farms. The responsibility of caring for the evictees falls on rural municipalities, thereby creating an unfunded mandate. Municipalities have to use their own funds because currently the intergovernmental fiscal instruments do not cater for evictions.
The Financial and Fiscal Commission (the Commission) examined the extent of the burden on rural municipalities and found that costs relating to evictions have increased over the years. In some cases, these costs are equal to 1% of the municipality’s local government equitable share (LGES). The Commission recommends that the current disaster grant include (or cater for) eviction-related emergencies, and that government strengthen the coordination and implementation of existing programmes, targeting the increasing number of displaced farm workers and dwellers.
Policy Brief by the Financial and Fiscal Commission