Invitation: Screening of This Land - 30 November 2016

15 Nov 2016 - 08:30

“We have seen that the chiefs are selling land to business people, mining companies, giving land to foreigners to build malls. We know that sometimes our land rights are not properly written in the law. But we know that traditionally we have a land right.” 
-  Mbhekiseni Mavuso, Makhasaneni, Kwazulu-Natal.

The Land & Accountability Research Centre (LARC) invites you to the first public screening of the new documentary film This Land, followed by a conversation with senior Members of Parliament and representatives of the Makhasaneni and Babanango communities of KwaZulu-Natal.

Where: Labia Theatre, 68 Orange Street, Gardens
When: 5:30 pm on Wednesday, 30 November 2016
RSVP: by 25 November 2016 -
Click here for a map and directions

Light refreshments will be served.

For a PDF version of the invitation, please click here.

The Land & Accountability Research Centre at UCT commissioned the vivid documentary film This Land as a way for rural people to bring the untold story of their struggle for rights and accountability on communal land into urban forums of legislative, political and corporate decision-making.

This film was directed by Miki Redelinghuys and produced by Plexus Films as a critical contribution to the accelerating national debate about rights relating to land use and ownership in deep rural areas seldom visited by thought leaders, policymakers and legislators.

This film is important today because public hearings begin this month on the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Bill. The TKLB proposes significant constraints on the remaining land rights of rural communities and curbs on their right to consultation and accountability about the use of their land.

The 48-minute film reflects national challenges in visits to three areas of KwaZulu-Natal. The main narrative follows the people of Makhasaneni in pristine hills near Melmoth in their battle against an Indian company’s secretive collusion with politically connected elites to develop a vast opencast iron-ore mine on the land they have farmed for generations.

To illustrate what is at stake, the film follows a delegation from Makhasaneni on a visit to a working mine at Somkhele, using drone footage and personal testimony to show the reality that faces them.

Finally, This Land shows that mining is not the only threat as people from Babanango relate how their lifestyle is being destroyed as the grazing lands around them are turned into a game reserve.