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The Centre for Rural Legal Studies (CRLS) was established in 1991 as a non-governmental organisation committed to the redistribution of power and resources in rural areas of the Western, Northern and Eastern Cape provinces of South Africa.

CRLS has developed considerable expertise in training, research and advocacy in the land and labour sectors with a specific gender emphasis.

CRLS promotes the land and labour interests of men and women farm workers in the Western, Eastern and Northern Cape of South Africa through:

  • Training Courses
  • Information Dissemination
  • Research
  • Advocacy
  • Legal Intervention
  • Development Facilitation



Our beneficiaries are farm workers and other rural dwellers in the Western, Eastern, and Northern Cape provinces. We also work directly with trade unions, community based advice offices, and other non-government organisations in the agricultural sector to engender lasting change.


The Problem

Most farm workers in South Africa do not have access to decent working and living conditions, fair wages, land, proper housing, and security of tenure. These conditions prevent many farm workers from having secure and sustainable livelihoods and living lives with dignity.


Our Solution

The Centre for Rural Legal Studies works with communities and encourages them to take action for themselves to make lasting changes at the district, provincial, and national levels.To achieve these goals, our organization engages with community leaders and major stakeholders to  enable socioeconomic transformation through constructive dialogue. We seek to foster mutual understanding of all the underlying causes of the problems facing farm workers and farm dwellers.

Through various trust-building interventions, we help them develop a comprehensive awareness and understanding of each other’s interests and needs. Key to this approach is the emphasis on enabling the farmworker communities’ agency through participation.An agency underpinned by the intervention processes which ensure that the farmworker communities are politically, socially and economically free to create their own futures and take charge of their destinies.

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