Land and Agraria Reform Campagn
As part of the Land and Agrarian Reform Campaign, many land sector organizations were mobilized to participate actively in the preparations for the National Land Summit called by the Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs in August 2007. As part of the run-up to the Land Summit and during the Summit a loose network/alliance was created to build unity in action and a common platform of demand amongst a wide range of organizations working on land and rural issues in the Western Cape. In this way the Alliance of Land and Agrarian Reform Movements (ALARM) came into existence. ALARM tried to fill the vacuum that existed in the land sector, given that there were no national initiatives that served as a platform for the land sector (civil society) and the rural poor. The National Land Summit thus acted as a catalyst for bringing land organizations together and in this way ensured higher levels of participation from rural organizations and engagement with the government’s land and agrarian reform process. Since the summit ALARM embark on unfolding a Plan and Action that would hold the Department of Land Affairs (DLA) accountable for the resolutions and the “promises” it made during the provincial and national summits. LAMOSA was a member of the steering committee and was instrumental as a resource organisation in shaping the national strategy that underpinned ALARMs campaign in the struggle for land rights for its constituency members. This network which LAMOSA so ably contribute to primarily worked towards the achievement of the common objectives which were mainly:
a) Facilitation, promotion and consolidation of support to the successful self-mobilization and self-organization of landless communities, homeless people, rural dwellers, farm workers, farm dwellers and small farmers in rural areas of South Africa
b) Mobilization of the rural and landless poor, and joint work for the achievement and successful implementation of a pro-poor, state-led people driven land and agrarian reform programme
c) Mobilization of the rural and urban landless poor around immediate demands and problems of evictions; and
d) Mobilization of the rural and urban landless poor to win access to high-quality and efficient basic services ( water, sanitation, housing, electricity, education and health) provided by the public sector in order to redress rural poverty, underdevelopment, poor service delivery and to address the plight of women who bear the brunt of socio-economic inequalities
e) To build a common campaign around some of the demands presented at the National Land Summit-moratorium on evictions
A number of strategies and activities were undertaken in achieving the above objectives such as: community mobilization meetings; community workshops; lobbying and advocacy; information dissemination and; campaigns and marches. ALARM`s activities in the Gauteng and North West provinces were implemented by the land Access Movement of South Africa (LAMOSA) together with landless people’s Movement (LPM) Gauteng. The following were the activities undertaken in Gauteng and North West province:
Held an eleven days` campaign on issues of land and agrarian implementation of land summit resolutions focusing on “Moratorium on Evictions”
Hold regular meetings with the Department of Land Affairs and pressurize them to start implementing the land summit resolutions
Held briefing meetings with relevant stakeholders and vulnerable groups affected by the various challenges. LAMOSA organized four (4) district meetings in Gauteng and (2) regional meetings in North West to develop a Plan of Action for the Human Rights Day. The purpose of the briefing meetings was to consolidate the previous campaign on “Moritorium on Evictions as well as “Free the farm- dweller campaign” which was launched in 2003 by the affiliates of the former National Land Committee together with the LPM.
The organization then targeted 10th and 21 March, a Human Rights month in South Africa, to make the plight of the victims through a march to force the government to act about the evictions.
Lobby for participation in the post land summit processes (2005) and gain a seat on the National Steering Committee of the post land summit process hosted by the Department of Land Affairs
In addition, LAMOSA managed to identify and capacitate the ALARM representatives as well as strategic rural women from the various sectors and from organizations and forums and other sectors (Restitution, LRAD, farm workers and dwellers, emergent farmers, landless) that participated successfully in the World Congress of Women in Agriculture and Rural Development in Durban that was hosted by the National Department of Agriculture end of April 2007. LAMOSA has also facilitated the capacity building of these individuals and ensured that they had a better understanding of o the context the neo-liberal policies which underpin their struggles. These women made commitments to facilitate feedback sessions and hold meetings with other groups after the conference. During the implementation of the activities, LAMOSA was able to identify cases that were highlighted during the day of the march on the Human Rights Day, as well as themes and messages for further campaign and mobilization. LAMOSA participates in the post land summit process and sits on the National Steering Committee (NSC) the structure responsible for the implementation of the land summit resolution. Furthermore, LAMOSA chairs the Policy Task Team of the NSC on post land summit implementation process.