Farm protests political, says Agri SA

2012-11-14 17:06
Robertson farmworker protest (Picture: Johan Cloete, News24 User)

Robertson farmworker protest (Picture: Johan Cloete, News24 User)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - Protests by farmworkers in the Western Cape were not only about wages, Agri SA said in Pretoria on Wednesday.

"This is the worst violence that we have ever experienced," Agri SA Western Cape president Cornie Swart said.

"For sure it is forces from the outside. It is political."

Agri SA national president Johannes Moller said the trade association believed wage negotiations should take place between farmers and workers.

"Give farmworkers [an] opportunity to negotiate with farmers on farm level."

Grape harvesters in the Hex River Valley have been protesting for over a week about their wages, demanding R150 a day. Most earn between R69 and R75 a day, with R80 being the highest and only offer from farmers so far.

According to reports on Wednesday, protests were taking place in 16 towns across the province and several workers had been arrested for public violence.

"We are not trying to defend the R70," Moller said.

Workers' wages were determined every March by the Employment Conditions Commission, he said.

However the industry was very labour intensive and wages accounted for 45 percent of farmers production costs per year. This amounted to R1.5bn.

"So just a small increase will push this a lot higher."

Moller said the protests could have far-reaching structural changes in the agricultural industry if it resulted in jobs being shed, instead of creating them. It could also have an effect on buyers.

"It will have a major impact on the country as a whole."

He said a possible unconventional employment effort could be to employ more people from the same family. This would increase a family's income.

However it would limit the amount of families that were employed by the agricultural industry.

"So whatever decision you make it will have a serious impact," he said.

Moller also denied reports about farmers in the Western Cape area being murdered.

"We have heard stories about farmers being killed. This is not true."

- SAPA
Read more on:    agri sa  |  cape town  |  agriculture  |  labour  |  farmworker protests
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
91 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!
This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!
This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is so much going on around you and inside your head. You may want to take your ideas to the next level. Romance may be...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.