We have received numerous requests from clients to assist in opposing labour tenant claims made against their properties. Many such claims in terms of sections 16 and 17 of the Land Reform (Labour Tenants) Act, 1996 (Act No. 3 of 1996), have been recently been served, and will no doubt still be served by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform.
If you receive one of these notifications informing you of a land claim, which will usually arrive by registered post, you are required to respond within 30 days of the date of the notification, to either admit or deny that the claimants are or were labour tenants.
In the event that you deny that they are or were labour tenants on your property, you will also be required to provide reasons for such denial, failing which you will be deemed to have accepted that the claimants are or were labour tenants on your property.
In addition, the DRDLR will require that you provide them with the following documents in terms of Section 17(2)(d):
- The names and addresses of the holders of all unregistered rights in the land in question, together with a copy of any document in which such rights are obtained, or if such rights are not contained in any document, full particulars thereof;
- Any documents or information in respect of the land in question and the rights in such land as the Director-General may reasonably require;
- A copy of the Title Deed or Deeds;
- Aerial photographs (if available);
- Agricultural reports;
- Any written agreements that exist between you and the claimants with regards to wages, cattle (if any, and their numbers), land use, and crops, amongst others;
- If the land is held in trust, a copy of the Trust Deed or Deeds; and
- Full details of any bonds registered against the property, including the institution, the branch, the account number and the Bond Reference number.
Should you require any assistance with a labour tenant claim, please contact us urgently on either +27 33 266 6170, or firstname.lastname@example.org