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Media Advisory: South African Human Rights Commission Releases Final Hearing Report on Stormvlei Farm Investigation

Attention: Editors and Reporters

19 March 2024

South African Human Rights Commission Releases Final Hearing Report on Stormvlei Farm Investigation

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), on 14 March 2024, released the Final Hearing Report concerning the complaints brought by Mr Dirk Biegenaar and Mr Michael Swartbooi against Stormvlei Farm in Swellendam, Western Cape.

This report concludes an investigative hearing by Western Provincial Office of the SAHRC, following complaints related to access to water, sanitation, and municipal services by the Stormvlei dairy farm community.

Key findings from the report highlight significant challenges faced by the community regarding access to clean water and adequate sanitation facilities, in addition to restricted access to family graves. These challenges pose substantial violations of the residents' human rights, underlined by both constitutional and statutory provisions.

The SAHRC report outlines recommendations aimed at addressing these violations. These include initiating a consultative process between the farm owner, local municipalities, and the Overberg Water Board to ensure access to water and sanitation. Furthermore, it emphasises the importance of the farm owner engaging with the families concerned to facilitate access to family graves, respecting both cultural practices and property rights.

The SAHRC is committed to monitoring the implementation of these recommendations and will conduct a review to assess progress.

The Commission wishes to highlight the significance of collaborative efforts in resolving these issues and expects all involved parties to partake actively in realising the rights of the Stormvlei dairy farm community.

The full report is accessible here  https://www.sahrc.org.za/home/21/files/Stormvlei%20Final%20Report.pdf

The SAHRC thanks all parties for their cooperation during this investigation and looks forward to their continued collaboration in implementing the report's recommendations to uphold the human rights of all affected individuals.


For further information or inquiries, please contact Wisani Baloyi on 081 016 8308 or  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Issued by the South African Human Rights Commission

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