Organiser of farmworkers’ strikes gets state funding

2013-04-02 08:42

An organiser of the recent farmworkers’ strikes in the Western Cape is getting funds from the government.

The Black Association of the Wine and Spirits Industry (Bawsi) confirmed to the Cape Times today that it had received money from the agriculture department.

Bawsi head Nosey Pieterse said Bawsi applied alongside other organisations last year to register on the department’s non-governmental organisation database.

The department’s chief director for sector capacity, Mokutule Kgobokoe, said the government was funding Bawsi to help with the “rights of (the) vulnerable” in the province.

A report submitted to the portfolio committee for agriculture in Parliament last month stated Bawsi played a critical role in mobilising the striking workers “towards calmness and constructive engagement with the employers“.

According to the newspaper, the department spent a total of R13 million on NGOs last year and budgeted R16m for this year.

Pieterse said their funding was used to distribute food parcels to families during the strike at the end of last year and help defend workers who were dismissed from work or evicted.

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