City claims it never denied march

2013-03-01 18:06

Johannesburg - The City of Cape Town did not deny permission for a coalition of farmworkers to march to Parliament at the weekend, an official said on Friday.

City spokesperson Kylie Hatton said that in a meeting with the police and the applicant, the Trust for Community Outreach and Education, it was pointed out that there were two other marches happening on Saturday.

"They then decided to move the march to Sunday. At that point the convenor, Gavin Joachims, contacted the City to advise that they wanted to postpone their march to 23 March," she said.

Farmworkers had wanted to march on Saturday against farmers' "ongoing efforts" to undermine the new minimum wage for workers.

On Thursday, the coalition claimed the City and police service had refused them permission, claiming a shortage of police officers.

It said: "There is no such shortage when events such as the Soccer World Cups are happening... This is clearly a political decision to frustrate the legitimate struggles of farmworkers."

Hatton said the trust was asked to cancel their original march request and submit a new request, which they did.

"They postponed it on their own terms," she said.

The new minimum wage requirement for farmworkers came into effect this Friday.

Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant announced on 4 February that the minimum wage for farmworkers would increase to R105 a day, from R69, with an increase of inflation plus 1.5% in subsequent years.

The decision to increase the minimum wage was made after a series of violent protests by Western Cape farmworkers.

Labour department spokesperson Page Boikanyo urged farmers to comply with the new wage.

"We believe most farmers will comply, but we emphasise that those who are unable to pay should apply for relief.

"Government has this mechanism in place to provide support for those who really can't afford it," he said.

Boikanyo said the department's focus was to process the applications it received from farmers, but said it was unclear how long this process would take.

He could not immediately say how many applications for assistance the department had received.

Farmers seeking relief would need to submit their books to the department to prove their financial distress.

  • gary.gordon.961993 - 2013-03-01 19:20

    Why can't these people just enter the two oceans or comrades if they are so desperate to march? I'm sure there are very few people who give a damn about their cause anymore. The union and the employers came to an agreement and they received a 100% increase in their pay. The others became redundant. Even more will become redundant when the farmers finally mechanise and the workers find a farm implement doing their work and never striking and food prices dropping accordingly.

  • Dee Bone - 2013-03-01 20:29

    if less whites were racists and can at least for a tiny moment see how damaging it is for whole communities to survive on peanuts, we'd probably have less less people voting for the f#ckin ANC.. Racist whites, f#*king ANC, voters voting themseles to hell. What solution for this country. We don't even have a president cause he's a bloody waste of time. I feel fo those farm workers. Kids are probably born with feotal alcohol syndrome and then you still have whites wanting to keep them there. FU#k this country is in deep sh#yt

      Tersia Louw - 2013-03-01 23:01

      Take a deep breath, calm down and start again, but make sense this time.

      Esther Coetzee - 2013-03-02 11:41

      Everybody knows the country is in 'deep sh#yt', but it is not the fault of the 'racist whites'

  • john.tex.395 - 2013-03-01 22:58

    Ja toy toy all day it's good for the shoe business viva viva AMA Nike s

  • Altus Kirsten - 2013-03-02 08:06

    Take the union leaders out, once and for all...

  • DropFrameFilms - 2013-03-02 09:15

    Dee bone, if you look at things carefully. I mean really carefully, you'll notice that it isn't the "racist whites" that are keeping you down, it your own people. It's been almost 20 years since we were provided a free and democratic society for all but all they have done since being voted in to power

  • DropFrameFilms - 2013-03-02 09:21

    Is blame apartheid for the lack of service delivery and education an almost everything else they couldn't provided us. They keep you uneducated for a reason, so the public think like you think because if you realised half of what the rest of South Africa does is that it doesn't matter who runs our country, as long as they run it correctly an in a non racist fashion. And as for the alcohol fetous syndrome, you can't blame any one for that but the mothers of the child. I getting drunk is more important than raising a healthy child then do as you please. And next time try not be so racist. It's people like you that are stopping the social cohesion that south Africa needs to move forward.

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