Small-Scale Farming - Way to Overcome Food Insecurity

I was born and raised in a rural area somewhere in the eastern side of Limpopo Lowveld. I never suffered from malnutrition or any other disease linked to food insecurity because my parents relied on small-scale farming to produce the food that we consumed as a family. Like many other families in my area, we have a piece of land where we plant crops depending on the season of the year. Many people in my community face a number of socio-economic hardships in their daily lives. To escape the reality of living under such hardships, they invest their time and energy into small-scale farming.

Land, Gay Rights Up for Discussion

Proposals to change the Constitution's provisions on sexual orientation and property rights have been referred to party caucuses for consideration, according to Die Burger newspaper.

Die Burger reports that Parliament's constitutional review committee has made the unusual move of referring these proposals to political parties.

Database Reveals Land Deals in Africa

Almost five percent of Africa's agricultural land has been bought or leased by investors since 2000, according to an international coalition of researchers and NGOs.

The coalition, which has released the world's largest public database of international land deals, estimates that more than 200 million hectares of land - roughly eight times the size of the United Kingdom - were sold or leased between 2000 and 2010.

COSATU Criticises R2m Land Deal

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in Limpopo has criticised the ‘meagre’ payment of just more than R2 million to the Molekana clan for land dispossessed from them and on which Anglo Platinum has a mining operation outside Mokopane.

COSATU provincial secretary, Dan Sebabi, describes the settlement as ‘daylight robbery’ because the clan lost all the rights to the land, including ownership, for a payment totalling R2 295 300, that was shared among 42 households.

NGOs Criticise World Bank Over ‘Land Grabs’

Environmental and farm groups have accused the World Bank of helping corporations and international investors snap up cheap land in Africa and developing countries worldwide at the expense of local communities.

In a statement released to coincide with the bank's annual land and poverty conference in Washington DC, the groups, which include NGO Friends of the Earth International (FOEI) and La Via Campesina, say that decades of World Bank policies have pushed African and other governments to privatise land and focus on industrial farming.

Call to Stop Increasing Informal Settlements

North West Human Settlements MEC, Desbo Mohono, has urged the province’s municipalities to create stringent by-laws to prevent the ‘mushrooming’ of informal settlements.

Mohono, points out that, “We cannot win this battle if we continue to be held to ransom by our people, who continue to occupy land illegally and continue to add numbers to the ever emerging informal settlements.”

She made the appeal during the handing over of the informal settlements improvement plan report on Friday in Rustenburg, following a five year investigation.

NUMSA Criticises NGO on Land Issue

The National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) has urged the Congress of the South African Trade Unions (COSATU) to work hard to ensure a 70 percent majority win for the African National Congress (ANC) in the next election, to pave the way for amendments to the property clause to speed up land redistribution.

NUMSA criticises the FW De Klerk Foundation which argues that the ANC sought to discard the country’s constitutional consensus by tampering with property rights through the green paper on land reform and the freedom of expression, among others.

Selwane Land Claims Drags

The BaPhalaborwa-ba-ga-Selwane community is up in arms because the Limpopo Land Claims Commission has not yet submitted relevant information to the Land Claims Court to motion their legal battle against the Majeje tribal authority.

The Commission was first ordered in 2008 at a pre-trial hearing in the Land Claims Court to submit information, which would help to resolve the land dispute between the Selwane community and the Majeje tribal authority.

Report Blames Elites for Land Grabbing

According to a study by the International Land Coalition (ILC), national elites in developing countries, including Tanzania, are among the most notorious land grabbers.

The accusation is one of the highlights of a major study on the issue that was conducted last year, which points out that while influential personalities in the countries grow wealthier off land acquired through unfair means, many of their poor and largely voiceless compatriots are rendered poorer.

Land Grab Blamed for Worsening Hunger in Africa

Aid group, Oxfam, has warned that decades of progress against hunger in Africa is being reversed by rising food prices, chronic droughts and ‘unfair’ land policies.

In its new report, which was released a day after Kenyan police dispersed dozens of protesters trying to hold an overnight vigil to protest rising food prices, the organisations accuses rich nations, transnational corporations and local elites are grabbing land needed for food production.


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