Mawubuye is an organisation that focuses on land and agricultural reform for self-organization of the rural poor in South Africa.
Today we live in a rapidly changing South Africa which we have achieved through struggle and sacrifice from apartheid and oppression. The struggle through poverty, landlessness and lack of basic services has yet to be fought and won. Over the past years we have seen the importance of self-organising unity in action. This task was very visible and clear at the various events in which the organization had to get involved with all government departments.
Since the beginning of the negotiations in the early 1990s and the adoption of the Constitution and Charter of Human Rights of South Africa, the voices of the rural poor and landless have gone unheard. Instead, those seeking to maintain status negotiated critical issues of land reform and rural transformation. Now is the time to change that to become the architects of our own future and the makers of our own history.
The organisation’s aim is to make visible the issues of landlessness, inequality, rural poverty and the uneven land ownership patterns. They also advocate sustainable development based on different models of agriculture and foreign production that are environmentally sound and aimed at domestic and national food security and sovereignty, as well as putting people and the environment before profit and organising around the slogan “‘another platteland is possible’ “.
Mawubuye intends to undertake the following to achieve its objectives:
- To develop a common vision of an alternative land and agricultural reform plan in which the legacy of apartheid land ownership patterns and inequality is reversed.
- To develop the interests of rural poor.
- To build a collective voice for membership.
- To promote self-organisation and self-activity among members.
- To develop a campaign for basic services and the transformation of rural land reform.
- To actively organize healthy and sufficient resources and support for smallholder productions.
- To protect the rights of the rural youth and women regarding their participation in the development process inside and outside the organization.
Janice Fiellies is a smallholder farmer as well as a member of Mawubuye. She lives in McGregor, a small town about 21.5 km outside Robertson. Fiellies says that the government does not pay enough attention to small holders. “We applied for a piece of land from the local municipality for planting, but received a letter saying that we are unsuccessful due to the portion of the land being restricted by way of public tender for the use of a nursery and that we must tender when the land is made available”. This does not stop us from putting back into our various communities.
She and two other members of the organization, Koos Plaaitjies and Adian Abrahams, is strengthening the work of a garden at a local creche in McGregor and on the 21st of October showed the youngsters the ropes by teaching them the basic knowledge of how to plant as well as how to take care of plants and make a garden. The members also planted trees as one of the organisation’s initiatives and awareness campaigns, by protecting mother earth.