Welcome to BRC

Defending human rights and democracy in rural areas

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Make a lasting impact in our community and beyond

Our Vision

Self-sustaining rural communities free from poverty, inequality, and unemployment

Our Mission

Empowering independence and democracy through land reform and rural progress


A Few Words About Us

BRC is a progressive non-governmental organisation working in the central and eastern parts of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. BRC seeks to defend human rights and democracy in rural areas, promote land reform (with a focus on betterment restitution), support community environmental initiatives and promote sustainable livelihoods in rural areas.

BRC was established in 1982 as the Grahamstown Rural Committee. In the early 1990s the organisation relocated its main office from Grahamstown to East London, and was renamed Border Rural Committee.


What We Do

Making change happen

BRC members come from diverse stakeholder groups, including local government representatives, former BRC staff and board members, client communities, funders, and current staff members. Our membership currently comprises around 60 individuals, and our Board of Directors is elected during the Annual General Meeting by the membership.

Our Programmes

Environment and Natural Resources

The desired outcome for BRC's Environmental Rights and Climate Justice (ERCJ) to achieving shifts in the policy environment to realise localised policy instruments through Provincial and Local government to support rural communities in the Eastern Cape to adapt to the impacts of climate change; participate in local economies and contribute to economic value chains thereby attaining sustainable livelihoods. This work has three strategic goals (i)Rights-based climate policy with an objective of achieving a balanced climate policy environment that is inclusive and prioritizes rural development (ii)Sustainable community-scale climate finance with an objective of localised and scalable climate finance instruments designed to support rural enterprises (iii)Regenerative nature-based rural economies with an objective to transformational economies to promote circular rural economy

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Land Rights and Restitution

Since it was founded in 1982, BRC has always been rooted in the fight for land reform with emphasis on Land Restitution. Although South Africa's land struggle has shifted gears, BRC's land question and the organisation's land agenda remains as Compensate rural people justly for the loss of land and livelihoods resulting from forced removals, towards rural development and sustainable livelihoods. As land and human rights organisation implementing our work in the context of rural development, we envision rural communities, wherein rural people derive socio-economic value from the settlement agreement and post-settlement agreements resulting from Betterment land claims toward the improvement of the quality of their lives. Within this programme, two projects are implemented, namely:

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Sustainable Rural Livelihoods

In order for any kind of development to contribute to the betterment of livelihoods of rural communities, it has to be sustainable. BRC's Sustainable Rural Development seeks to ensure the most marginalised communities of rural Eastern Cape are able to sustain their own lives. As an organisation, we do this through the promotion of food security - for both household consumption and selling towards the economic emancipation of these households and communities. Thus, communities, households, cooperatives and small scale farmers are supported in this programme.

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Women Empowerment & Gender-based Violence and Femicide (GBVF)

As an organisation which continues to offer services to rural communities towards sustainable development, a number of political an socio-economic issues serve as deterrents to the developmental agenda of rural Eastern Cape. One of these issues is what South African President Ramaphosa dubbed the second pandemic to Covid-19, GBVF and Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG). Supported by the Ford Foundation, BRC implements this programme across all 5 Districts and 2 Metros of the Province. The programme has clearly defined strategic objectives: (i)To reduce incidences of GBVF and VAWG (ii)To empower worm and girl children to act on their rights and for their economic emancipation (iii)To fight patriachy and toxic masculinity The programme has crisp and measurable indicators of success which include but are not limited to: (i)Number of GBVF survivors assisted with opening criminal cases, (ii)Number of women operating profitable business ventures, (iii)Number of young women, girls and boys acting as champions against GBVF.

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