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Help at hand for farm workers facing illegal eviction

15 October 2015

Pretoria – The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform says farm workers facing illegal eviction can contact its toll free hotline for assistance.

“Farm workers and farm dwellers who have been illegally evicted from farms should immediately call the department’s toll free number, 0800 007 095 FREE, where they will be assisted by a team of legal and mediation personnel appointed by the department,” said the department in a statement on Thursday.

Eviction Hotline
The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform launched the Land Rights Awareness on land rights and security of tenure for people living on commercial farms. To supplement the Awareness Campaign, the Department has also established the Land Rights Management Facility. The Land Rights Management Facility has three main components. The first two components deal with legal representation and mediation services while the third one is the Call Centre. The Call Centre is designed to increase access to Departmental services and for people to report any land rights violation, particularly illegal evictions.

The Evictions Toll Free Number: 0800 007095 0800 007095 FREE
The above-mentioned number is free of charge when calling from the telephone landline. The Department is aware that cell phone callers do get charged for calling this toll free number. However that matter is being addressed with cell phone network providers. In the interim, callers from cell phones are encouraged to request the agent to call them back.

(1) The Call Centre
The Call Centre is a free service for people on commercial farms who cannot afford to make paid telephone calls when reporting incidents of illegal evictions, land rights violations and other problems related to their security of tenure on farms.

(2) The Location of the Call Centre
The Call Centre is situated at the National office of the Department of Rural Development and land Reform in Pretoria.

(3) The Languages
The Call Centre operates in all eleven official languages, and callers must speak the language of their choice.

(4) The Hours of Operation
The Call Centre operates on weekdays, from Monday to Friday. It opens from 07h30 in the morning till 16h30 in the afternoon. For those who might experience problems beyond the stated hours, a message service is available for callers to leave their messages and contact details and the agents will promptly attend to the left messages.

(5) Follow Up
The Agents in the Call Centre will keep records of callers and callers are allowed to call as many times as possible to follow up on their reported cases. This is emphasised especially if the local office where the matter was referred to has not yet contacted the caller or intervened.

(6) Who should call the Call Centre?
The Department encourages anyone witnessing any land rights violation of any nature to report these incidents by contacting our provincial offices/district offices or directly contact the Call Centre at the National Office. Callers are linked to our agents who are fully trained on the land rights and tenure security matters. The toll-free service is primarily for farm dwellers as they cannot afford to make paid calls to report cases of land rights violations.

(7) Other Services offered
The Call Centre is not limited to evictions; farm dwellers can also enquire about other programmes available from the Department. Our agents are competent in all relevant information packages to enable them to deal with public queries, which includes amongst others: restitution, redistribution and the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP). Farm dwellers are also encouraged to use the service in order to proactively protect their tenure security.

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