The Rural Legal Trust (RLT) was established in 2000 as an interim arrangement that would provide free legal services for farm workers, farm dwellers and labour tenants, whilst the then Department of Land Affairs and the then Legal Aid Board were seeking parliament approval to establish such units. The interim period lasted three years through which the three organisations set up a pilot project that would best inform the envisaged model. The pilot also employed paralegals and lawyers who were meant to provide a direct service to above mentioned clientele; these personnel were also to be absorbed into the system. Unfortunately the tripartite arrangement seized to exist when Land Affairs decided not to financially support the pilot; which did not hinder the RLT from continuing to provide legal services to the indigent of South Africa.
RLT established partnerships with land rights organisations in all nine provinces where paralegals, lawyers and fieldworkers were placed to be supported through its re-granting facility. This arrangement continued through 2008 when RLT had to conduct and external evaluation of its intervention programmes. The external evaluation report argued for continuation of its programmes with recommendations that would improve service provision. At least after its strategic planning of 2009 – 2010, the RLT emerged an organisation that continues the provision of legal services to the indigent, enhanced by its people-driven advocacy work.
We are committed to self-directed People From Farms Forums that strive for their security of tenure and realisation of their human and socio-economic rights.
We advocate for human and socio-economic rights for People From Farms by empowering and supporting rural mobilisation and ensuring development programs that will end their marginalisation.