These three examples illustrate a ubiquitous problem with respect to the precarity of farm workers in general, and women in particular, drawing attention to broader social issues and systems of oppression. First, women living and working on farms find themselves in dual patriarchal relationships: the relationships with their male partners and their relationships with farm owners and managers. Their employment is, by design, often seasonal (and therefore temporary and contract-based). As the cases of Klaase and Hattingh show tenure for them and their families has also been deeply insecure.
Second, the majority of farm owners and managers are white and the majority of farm workers and dwellers are black African or coloured: the legacies of colonialism and
Apartheid are alive and well on farms throughout South Africa.
Third, more than 20 years after the adoption of the constitution and nearly 20 years after parliament’s enactment of the Extension of Security of Tenure Act, legal representation and protection of farm workers’ rights remains the exception
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