Farmers, protesting workers in talks

2012-11-07 13:14
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

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Unrest at De Doorns

2012-11-06 12:53

Around 8 000 farm workers gathered in De Doorns, Western Cape following a violent protest that left vineyards in flames. Watch. WATCH

Cape Town - Talks will take place between farmers and their workers in De Doorns, Western Cape on Wednesday morning following violent protests, Cosatu said.

Congress of SA Trade Unions provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich said they would join the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration at 11:20 to facilitate negotiations at the Worcester civic centre.

"These negotiations must find a way in which workers can get decent wages and end the atrocious living conditions of workers on farms and in the informal areas," Ehrenreich said.

"The ill treatment and under-payment of workers by some farmers must stop, otherwise we will see a Marikana in De Doorns."

Cosatu said it would make sure protests were peaceful.

Farmer arrested

Workers had gathered on the N1 highway since Monday, resulting in 30 hectares of vineyards being burned, and several arrests. On Tuesday, around 8 000 workers gathered in the small town before protesting, forcing the temporary closure of the N1 between De Doorns and Touws River.

A farmer was arrested during the day for attempted murder after he allegedly shot at protesting workers.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel André Traut said two people were arrested on Tuesday after looting a bottle store.

"The situation in De Doorns is still being monitored, and no violence or incidents have been reported today [Wednesday]."

ANC blamed

Both the Democratic Alliance and provincial agriculture MEC believed the protest was politically motivated.

DA provincial leader Ivan Meyer blamed the African National Congress.

"It is very clear to me that much of the protest in this area is politically motivated, and the local ANC... once again played a large role in inciting the violence and vandalism," he said on Tuesday.

Wouter Kriel, spokesperson for agriculture MEC Gerrit van Rensburg, on Tuesday said there did not seem to be people leading the protest and no list of demands was handed out.

"This is not a labour strike and [is] not organised by farm workers, even though farm workers are involved. It seems to be politically motivated," Kriel said.
- SAPA
Read more on:    cosatu  |  da  |  anc  |  ivan meyer  |  tony ehrenreich  |  gerrit van rensburg  |  cape town  |  farmworker protests  |  protests
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