We have become increasingly aware of instances of employees (or ex-employees) and /or occupiers building without permission of the landowner.
This problem is compounded by the speed with which buildings can be built on a farm, sometimes without the landowner’s knowledge. Buildings can literally be started and finished within a few weeks and sometimes as quickly as a few days.
McCarthy & Associates Attorneys have had to proceed to court recently and more frequently, among other things:
- Interdict the continued building of unauthorized structures; and/or
- Obtain orders to demolish structures.
Such litigation is emotional and can be expensive.
- The landowner (preferably via a third party) must communicate the accommodation rules (in English and Zulu) to employees/occupiers, which rules include no building without authority;
- Landowners should record the status of housing/buildings annually. This can be done through photographs taken of each household along with Google Earth photos;
- Landowners should conduct monthly inspections of the housing on their properties;
- If there is evidence of a site being cleared or building materials being brought onto the property, the landowner must IMMEDIATELY:
- Communicate verbally to the employee/occupier who is building that they may not build; and
- Confirm this in writing (in English and Zulu) with proof of service; and
- Photograph the site/building materials/building operation; and
- Seek legal advice.
Please also see our previous article in this regard, Problems and Solutions for Employee Accommodation (24 May 2022)