Western Cape farm strike suspended

2012-11-14 18:35
Farmworkers strike in Robertson. (Johan Cloete, News24 User)

Farmworkers strike in Robertson. (Johan Cloete, News24 User)

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

Cape Town - Western Cape farmworkers will suspend their protests over wages and living conditions for two weeks, Acting Labour Minister Angie Motshekga said on Wednesday.

She said the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) had consulted workers and it was agreed they would return to work on Thursday and desist from violence and vandalism.

The suspension was on condition that the sectoral determination for agriculture be looked at by the Employment Condition Commission next Wednesday.

This meant the R70 a day minimum wage for farmworkers would be cancelled and renegotiated.

Motshekga was addressing reporters in Cape Town, on behalf of Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant, who was out of the country.

Grape harvesters in the Hex River Valley have been protesting for more than 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.

Sixteen towns in the province have been affected by the protest action, which included blocked roads and burning tyres.

Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson described the labour action as a service delivery strike, and said workers in De Doorns, for instance, wanted housing and basic services.

She condemned those who said the matter was purely political.

"This is not a political matter. This an initiative of workers themselves. This is indeed a service delivery strike."

The labour department expressed condolences to the family of a farmworker killed in Wolseley on Wednesday morning.

"We are calling for an end to the violence and wish to appeal to the farmworkers to give us a chance to attend to all their demands."

False allegations

Western Cape police confirmed that a man was killed and five people were injured during protests in Wolseley.

Lieutenant Colonel André Traut said the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID would investigate.

"The man died as a result of police action, but we cannot give more details of the incident," he said.

"Reports of a farmer being killed by a mob of farmworkers in the province are not true. Those allegations are false."

IPID spokesperson Moses Dlamini said an investigator was on his way to the scene where the protester was shot to get more details.

"I can confirm that one person was killed. However we only have a report that three were injured. An investigator is on his way to gather more details."

Joemat-Pettersson said her state security and police counterparts, Siyabonga Cwele and Nathi Mthethwa, would "engage further in the matter".

"To give information now [on the death] would be very clumsy and irresponsible," she said.

A notice indicating the intent to call all interested parties to comment on the sectoral determination would be published by next Friday.

"I would also like to call on all the parties that have been involved in the current negotiations in the farms in the Western Cape to intensify their effort to resolve the current impasse," Oliphant said in a statement.

"The negotiations and the resolution should be pursued over and above the other efforts like re-looking at the sectoral determination, which process may take a while to conclude."

Joemat-Pettersson said the sectoral determination could only be revised once a year.

A revisal would affect all farmworkers across the country, regardless of produce.

- SAPA
Read more on:    tina joemat-pettersson  |  angie motshekga  |  agriculture  |  labour  |  protests  |  farmworker protests  |  strikes
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
76 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

Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland

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

The energy today is serious, materialistic and hardworking. You may find you get a new outlook on things and you may want to spend...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.