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Chris Gaza
 
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What I would do if I was a white farmer

17 November 2012, 09:51

South Africa has been hit by a rolling strikes in the mining and farming sector. Economist and news journos are saying the South African economy is losing millions and billions of rands on a daily basis as a result of these wildcat strikes by poor black farmers and miners.

I believe I have a solution to solve the problems faced by the owners of farms and mines in South Africa. I have titled my article what I would do if I was a white farmer because 80% of commercial farmers in South Africa are white, so they are the ones mostly dealing with the farm worker unrest directly.

If I was a farmer there are 5 things I would do to keep my workers happy, after all farming and mining are businesses and the greatest asset to any business is its workers.

So it realy bewilders me how farmers are paying their workers R70 a day (R1 400 per month) and then go on to deduct water, electricity and accommodation expenses. What do they expect their workers who have at least 5 dependents each to survive.

If I was a farmer or miner this is what I would do
1. Give them the lowest salary possible i.e R70 a day but
2. Give them free accommodation, water and electricity
3. Build a school with my farmer friends in the farming communities and allow their children to go to school for free.
4. Provide bursaries for their children to go to college and university
5. Provide a monthly ration of food to all farm workers
6. Provide adult literacy training and computer literacy training to my farm workers.

Many of you are possibly asking how this will prevent a strike. Well by providing my farm workers the following 6 items. Here is the effect of the following 6 interventions .

By educating the farmers children I show them that I care about their long term future, I also make myself indispensable to their families.

By providing them with adult literacy programs I ensure that they don't spend the rest of their lives as farm workers. Farm work is after all unskilled labor, so after they are skilled my farm workers will be able to look for skilled jobs.

I will then get a new crop of farm workers who will be dazed by the benefits I offer them. After a few years this new bunch of farm workers will also leave and the cycle continues, I reap a healthy profit and keep my workers happy.

By providing my workers with food rations, free accommodation and living benefits I will keep my workers well fed, living comfortably and happy, that way I engragiate myself to them and I reap the profits from the risk I take in starting and running my farm

Just a bit of emotional intelligence on the part of farmers will maintain the status quo. By the same token the miners whould do the same and capitch.

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