President Cyril Ramaphosa has assented to the Extension of Security of Tenure Amendment Bill.
The bill, which was first proposed in 2015, aims to strengthen the rights of farm workers, farm dwellers, and the occupiers of vacant land and their families.
Some of the most notable changes include:
- The family of an ‘occupier’ now extends to include a spouse by customary marriage (regardless of whether the marriage is registered), while family members are restricted to any dependent child, grandchild, parent and grandparent.
- A land occupier may now only be evicted in terms of a court order issued if he/she was legally represented at the proceedings, or if they expressly waived their rights to legal representation.
- It is now compulsory for the owner or person in charge, or the occupier, to attempt mediation to settle the dispute.
- The establishment of the LRMB (Land Rights Management Board) and the LRMC (Land Rights Management Committee), which will be tasked with monitoring the processes preceding legal evictions and ensuring that specific procedures are followed.
You can find the amendment below: