Filling the gap: civil society organisations and service delivery to farm workers in the Free State
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Farm workers form one of the most marginalised social groups in South Africa. Due to the dispersed spatial location of farms, farm workers live and work on private land owned by the farmer. They are dependent on the farmer to provide their basic services, such as accommodation, sanitation, and electricity. Therefore, gaining access to social services such as legal advice, health services, and education is often very difficult. The provision of these services by government departments has been a challenge due to the geographical distribution of farm workers in the rural areas in the Free State. Dispersed service delivery is typically expensive. In addition, there have been a strong trend towards urbanisation, which has further decreased the number of farm workers in the rural areas and has increased the extent of their marginalisation. This study, which was undertaken in mid-2002, began by identifying non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and non-profit organisations (NPOs) delivering services to farm workers.