Merweville Advice office

Merweville Development and Advice office is a registered NPO established in 2012 based in Merweville a small rural town approximately 130km east of Beaufort West and more than 600km from Cape Town. The organisation was established with the main objective of providing access to justice to local community members and farm workers of the surrounding farms which are 52 farms in total. They are the only organisation providing access to justice services to poor and marginalised rural communities neighbouring the town. The issues they assist community members with range from advocating for improved living conditions for farmer workers, unfair dismissals, and human awareness campaigns within tier community and neighbouring farms. Their main challenge though is access to funding and appropriate office facilities to do their work.

Governance and management

Merweville has a Management Board made up of 8 members and a staff complement of 3 with Mr Edgar Marthinus as Project Coordinator. The rest of the staff consists of an Office administrator, and a Volunteer.

Main activities of the LDA

The main activities of the organization are:

  • Providing access to socio economic justice to local community members and farm workers in the neighbouring farms
  • Women empowerment workshops educating women of their rights as women
  • Programs dealing with substance abuse, i.e. drugs and alcohol amongst the youth
  • Programs target at dealing with issues of women and child abuse in their community

 

Highlights, achievements, innovative projects

Below are some the achievements of the organisation:

  • Handled 700 Para legal cases ranging from labour issues to social grants, to illegal farm evictions and UIF claims.
  • Able to save or recoup more than R50 000 for their clients for amicably settling their labour disputes, social grants claims, consumer related issues and disputes around the sale of a house.
  • Facilitated a meeting the SASSA national office to come and address social grants complaints raised by members of their community
  • The office was part of a delegation representing CSOs in the Western Cape during the Millennium Development Goals summit held in Pretoria last year