This article appeared in the Inyanda Community News newspaper, which is published every two months by the Inyanda National Land Movement and distributed nationwide through its affiliate organisations. SPONSORED MY MDDA
The historic Groot Constantia Wine Estate in Cape Town went to Court on Tuesday February 14 to try and enforce an eviction order against a worker who has been living on the farm for slightly over 20 years.
Julia Bennet was nine year's old when she moved into the worker's quarters of the far
m with her father in 1996. However in 2015, two weeks after her father died, she was served with an eviction notice. By then, Bennet had given birth to a son and had been working as a cleaner at Groot Constantia for close onto five years.
The Commercial Stevedoring Agricultural and Allied Workers Union (CSAAWU) is assisting Bennet with legal counsel to oppose the eviction order.
In terms of the Extension of Security of Tenure Act (ESTA), a farmworker cannot be evicted from a farm if they have been working there for more than ten years.
“My father gave his life to this farm. He was working with pesticides all these years, and got sick because of it. And now they think nothing of me,” says Bennet.
The farm management is arguing that the tenant rights were given to Bennet's father and cannot be extended to his daughter.