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SAHRC Press Briefing on Public Inquiry into The Impact of Rural Land Use and Ownership Patterns on Rights in South Africa


Attention: Editors and Reporters

27 March 2018

The South African Human Rights Commission (the Commission or the SAHRC) will be hosting a Public Inquiry as an exploratory hearing into Land and The Impact of Rural Land Use and Ownership Patterns in South Africa.

Land has always been a prominent and emotive issue in South Africa. Our history of colonialism, violent conquest, dispossession, forced removals and racially skewed distribution has left us with a complex and difficult legacy. This legacy lives on today with South Africa regularly being described as the most economically and socially unequal society in the world. However the Commission recognises that land policies must both provide redress for historical displacement while also ensuring sustainable production, employment, and equitable growth.

The Commission, constitutionally mandated with the protection, promotion and the monitoring of the observance of human rights understands that redress, accountability and rural land reform is are key components of the progressive realisation of human rights. It is therefore appropriate for the Commission to facilitate a broad exploratory inquiry into the impact of rural land use and ownership patterns on human rights. To this end the Commission has convened a public inquiry which will commence on 28th March 2018, at 08:30AM, at the SAHRC Head Office.

A Press Briefing for the Media will be held at 13:00PM to 14:00PM on the day.

Given the magnitude and complexity of the land issue in South Africa, this initial hearing is intended to serve as the basis for research to be conducted by the Commission and further engagement with state department stakeholders.

For the purposes of the hearing, identified civil society stakeholders have been invited to present information, by providing both oral and written submissions to the SAHRC. The inquiry will consider information in the form of written submissions and engagements with representatives of communities.

The Hearing Panel will consist of Commissioner Chris Nissen (Chairperson of the Hearing Panel); external Panellist is Associate Professor Ruth Hall, at the Institute for Poverty, Land & Agrarian Studies at the University of the Western Cape (UWC).
The press briefing will be hosted as follows:

Venue: Braampark Forum 3, 33 Hoofd Street, Braamfontein
Date:               28th March 2018
Time:               13:00 PM to 14:00 PM


Issued by the South African Human Rights Commission
Gail Smith – Spokesperson Tel: 060 988 3792 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Gushwell Brooks – Communications Co-ordinator Tel: 082 645 8573 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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