Over third of farmers underpay workers, says minister

2010-11-23 10:37

Over a third of black and white commercial farmers in South Africa pay their workers less than a minimum wage.

According to a written reply to a parliamentary question, tabled by Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant today, this was based on inspections carried out at over 1 700 farms.

“The department has conducted inspections in 1 744 workplaces in the farming sector, including commercial farmers, and the compliance levels were found to be at 65%.

“It is not in the interest of the department to look at whether white or black commercial farmer comply, but the duty is to ensure that all employers comply irrespective of race,” the reply stated.

The question – posed by Inkatha Freedom Party MP Peter Smith – queried the extent to which both black and white commercial farmers “comply with the minimum wage requirements”.

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