Cape farm findings 'not surprising'
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.