Joemat-Pettersson to meet with Zuma over farm workers’ wages

2012-11-14 07:01

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson is expected to meet President Jacob Zuma to get his support for higher wages for farm workers.

“The minister was asked by the farm workers to intervene and to speak to the president to escalate their demands,” her spokesperson Palesa Mokomela said.

“Joemat-Pettersson will basically act as their messenger when she hopefully meets with President Zuma today. She will ask the government to re-determine the wages of farm workers.”

Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj said he was aware of the proposed meeting, but would not comment as it was an internal matter.

Grape harvesters in the Hex River Valley, in the Western Cape, had been protesting for a week over their wages, demanding R150 a day. Most earned between R69 and R75 a day, with R80 being the highest and only offer from farmers.

According to reports today protests were taking place in 16 towns. Several workers had been arrested for public violence.

This morning, Joemat-Pettersson called on the labour department to intervene in the Western Cape farm workers’ strike.

“I have no capacity to advise or influence the employment conditions commission,” she told SAfm.”

“That is a matter for the department of labour or the minister of labour. We have done what we could as the department of agriculture and we will continue supporting workers.”

She said she had helped “restore relationships” between striking farm workers and farmers.

“I think we’ve [the department] acted as a facilitator to allow that these negotiations and talks stay on track ... We cannot afford this sector to lose jobs ... that is why we decided to participate in normalising the situation.”

“We call on all workers to stop the violence, to stop the vandalism,” the minister said on SAfm.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

UK expert: Boks ‘have KO game’
Ireland hold on to down Italy
As it happened: Ireland 16-9 Italy
All Blacks sympathise with England
Traffic Alerts

It is time to focus on your daily rhythm. Are you putting too much attention on future projects and neglecting the day to more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.