BRC launched the campaign that has come to be known as ‘Vulamasango Singene’ on 16 June 2002. To date the campaign has taken on a single issue, namely to fight for justice for communities unfairly excluded from the restitution programme, specifically those dispossessed by betterment in the former Ciskei and Transkei.
On 30 June 2014, the president signed the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Bill into law, allowing a five-year period during which further claims can be lodged. Betterment claims are explicitly included. This is a huge victory for Vulamasango Singene and for BRC.
Vulamasango Singene (pic - Caroline Hooper-Box)
The challenge now is to ensure that rural people across the Eastern Cape submit claims timeously, and that these claims include all the necessary information and documentation. The claim finalisation process must be supported to ensure that claims are settled in the best interest of the claimant communities.
Vulamasango Singene is well-placed to do this. During its first ten years, the campaign was able to achieve significant achievements with respect organising rural people:
- Over 700 villages, across the province, elected village committees. These committees send representatives to a district committee. There are thirteen districts represented on the provincial committee of Vulamasango Singene.
- A total of 73 000 signed declarations from representatives of families dispossessed through betterment.
Vulamasango Singene is now an independent organisation, registered as a Section 21 Company. It has its own Board of Directors, and its own funding. BRC continues to offer strategic and administrative support to the organisation. Click here to visit the Vulamasango Singene website.
Vulamasango Singene (pic - Gerhard Kienast)