News24

Cape farm findings 'not surprising'

2012-02-02 21:34

Cape Town - It was "not surprising" that some Western Cape farms were found not to be complying with labour laws, a trade union said on Thursday.

"These specific areas, Citrusdal, Worcester, Robertson, and Paarl, visited by the portfolio committee are notorious for non-compliance with labour regulations," Food and Allied Workers' Union spokesperson Dominique Swartz said.

She was commenting on findings by Parliament's labour portfolio committee, after it visited 21 farms.

"They are rural areas and workers' accommodation is often very well hidden on these farms."

The union condemned Democratic Alliance labour spokesperson Ian Ollis' comments that the findings were part of efforts to discredit the Western Cape government.

"It shows that he is so busy defending farmers that he is oblivious to the realities of working and living conditions of farm workers," Swartz said.

"The fact is there were violations of labour laws on several farms and these were exposed."

Committee chairperson Elleck Nchabeleng said in a report very few farms fully complied with the payment of minimum wages, accommodation, and health and safety regulations.

Ollis contended that only a few farmers did not abide by regulations and their breach thereof was not severe.

Non-compliant farms would receive a follow-up visit by inspectors in two months.

Comments
  • bernpm - 2012-02-02 21:43

    The hunt for the WCape is on....... I take it that all other provinces are complying 100% thanks to vigorous controls and follow up visits by the provincial labour department and unions. Farmers who do not comply have been/will be executed.

  • Zebelon - 2012-02-02 22:30

    It sewems farmers have to study to become lawyers as well to cope in farming. Otherwise, how would they know the plethora of laws governing their operations? As for the wage issue, it was decided by the ANC government without consulting all farmers and finding out the level of their individual profit (e.g : a farmer realises, on average, R1000 a month, but is compelled by the labour law to pay workers R3000). Go around the country, and be surprised how much some farmers pay, and how much they realise from their farming operations.

  • Eliza.bethB100 - 2012-02-03 04:52

    Thank you, for eventually taking care of farm workers... The treatment of farm workers is something we have asked to be looked at for many years now... I hope this will only get better...

  • Ali - 2012-02-03 06:43

    Will it be Ok if the farmers start singing about killing the farmworkers? I think not. So please see that the farmers too are treated fairly and not threatened(by whoever) and the follow ups will be appreciated.

  • Jacqui - 2012-02-03 10:31

    Yes, and in the rest of the country everything is just fine. I don't think so.

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