Farm living conditions baffle minister

2012-02-18 08:00

Johannesburg - The living conditions of some farm workers in the Free State was disturbing, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant said on Friday.

"A caring society cannot stand by and watch as people are treated in this fashion," she said, after inspecting a compound where workers were forced to sleep directly on bed springs in cramped living areas without any ventilation.

"I will be taking this issue up with the departments of rural development and human settlements to determine whether it is not possible for them to run a project to build better houses for workers in the farms."

Oliphant and a group of labour inspectors had visited 13 farms in Bethlehem where they found "shocking levels of non-compliance by employers".

As a result, 21 prohibition notices were issued and 15 contraventions were served to employers, she said.

Prohibition notices means that area of work will cease to operate until the employer fully complies with concerns raised by inspectors.

Areas of non-compliance included failure by employers to provide their employees with protective clothing, lack of clean drinkable water, failure to induct workers on how to use machinery and general health and safety.

Oliphant said she was disturbed by the fact that some farmers who employed people from neighbouring Lesotho, seemed not to have proper permits.

"They showed us open-ended permits. I will also be talking to Home Affairs to find out if this is the best way or to maybe have them look at this issue and act accordingly," she said.

The department's target was to conduct a blitz at 31 farms. Eighteen remain.

Oliphant said her department was planning to organise a national farmers' summit once it had concluded inspections in all provinces.

  • Max - 2012-02-18 08:21

    What about the living conditions of the people living in shacks all over the country that is your and the ANC's resposibility? Sort out your own problems before critisizing farmers who are actually providing jobs, you hypocrate.

      Max - 2012-02-18 11:32

      Tbooze, the reality is that the country can actually do with a lot more farmers, black or white. But what the country needs most at this stage is to get rid of people like you which is a racist, intellectually challenged, job less, no good for nothing, untrainable, culturally blinded, communist indoctrinated, grant entitled, government dependant, aids invested, tenderpreneurial spineless piece of trash. You know, like most of your comrades.

      peterjohnjnb - 2012-02-18 11:59

      Tbooze: or, wait I have an even better idea! Let's start running the country on the basis of a meritocracy. In other words, the level of reward you enjoy, is directly proportionate to your contribution to society. How do you like the sound of that??

      Gail - 2012-02-18 21:30

      Max, There is something here that you haven't picked up on. That is that the ANC are the ones who have an open border policy to any black outside our borders who is desperate for safety and work and will accept a lower salary and poor conditions so that they can feed their families. The fact that COSATU have raised the wages etc of local workers in ALL areas thus raising the price for anyone not in that particular industry in this case farming is directly contributing to situations like this>farmers are at the mercy of these unions as well as high prices of basic commodities which they need to keep the farm productive. They are also at the mercy of climate change which NOBODY has any control over. Farmers have to plan ahead for lean times which sometimes do not happen which is a bonus. Many people cite the wheel as the first sign of civilisation when in fact it is agriculture. Not all land is suitable for dairy for example because the natural vege. is not right. Water is critical and highly unpredictable. One can only run X number of cattle on any particular farm while some has to be set aside to recover or to grow supplementary food. We used to have a thriving clothing industry producing quality goods. Most of those places are closed, employees without income. 73% of chicken in our stores comes from Brazil. Most of our clothing comes from the middle East and Far East where Unions are not allowed and the people who sew are paid by productivity.

      Max - 2012-02-19 00:47

      Gail, I fully agree with you. The basic economic principal for determining the price of any commodity is by looking at supply and demand. We have a total over supply of unskilled labour with the result that the price of labour is in actual fact supposed to be very low. Unions like Cosatu distort the price determined by demand and supply with fixed higher minimum wages. The farmer in this case is now forced to absorb the difference between the minimum wage and the actual lower price of labour that is determined by supply and demand. The farmers however cannot absorb the increase in labour cost and pass the increase on to the consumer in the form of price increases of their products. If we make the assumption that there are only farmers and labourers in this example and the labourers only spend their money on the food produced on the farms, no one will gain anything because the labourers will have the same buying power in terms of the quantity of food the can buy with their income. The net result is therefore only a decrease in the value of the currency with which the farmers is paid. What Cosatu is missing is the fact that with cheaper labour the farmer can expand production, decrease the price of food with additional supply and create jobs.

  • Comrade - 2012-02-18 08:23

    Why concern yourself with FARM WORKERS (about 20 of them) when 20 million of your voters dont have running water or electricity - because you cANCer THIEVES stole or CORRUPTED public funds. you make me sick. Instead of addressing your own stupidity - you inflame racism and hatred towards white farmers AGAIN!!! UP YOURS

      judilie - 2012-02-18 14:36


      Patsy - 2012-02-18 14:55

      I'm very curious..... Were they white or black farmers?????

      Gerhard - 2012-02-20 11:03

      Patsy, they did not mention race so therefore, it must be black farmers. If they were white farmers, do you really think they would leave that out of the story???

  • Larry - 2012-02-18 08:24

    He needs to take a look at the living conditions in the Townships and elsewhere, before he targets the Farms.

      Larry - 2012-02-18 08:25

      Sorry, She, needs to, or was I right in the first place.

      Anthony - 2012-02-18 08:51

      right on both accounts

      Juan - 2012-02-18 10:48

      @Larry two wrongs doesn't make a right. Businesses are expected to comply with labour legislation, and farming is also a business. Apart from that it's morally despicable to have farm workers or any other workers treated like animals.

      JuditVictor - 2012-02-19 21:17

      To Juan, yeah... two wrongs DON't make a right. Crikey Moses! What was the fight about again?

  • Multi - 2012-02-18 08:28

    I'm disgusted. If you are going to employ people from elsewhere at least give them a safe and comfortable place to sleep and decent protective gear. It doesn't cost much to build a basic mud hut which are well insulated and safe when properly made (far superior to most RDP houses I've seen). Mattresses aren't all that expensive and its easy enough to build a base out of any old wood lying around. These employers need to up their game.

      Multi - 2012-02-18 08:31

      In addition this same minister needs to take a walk through a township and take a look at the living conditions there.

      Marcell - 2012-02-18 08:34

      Mattrasses are not expensive but if you need to buy them again and again it become expensive. I bet you that those houses had windows once upon a time but the farmer got so 'gatvol' with replacing the windows that he closed it with bricks and mortar.

      Multi - 2012-02-18 08:59

      True but that's no excuse. In the end you are responsible for your workers' living conditions if they are staying on your property.

      sean.redmond3 - 2012-02-18 12:15

      I remember as a youngster in Zambia, my parents build houses for the farm staff, and supplied electricity and stoves. The staff made a fire in the oven so they could cook on top. The ovens did not last a day. They made fires outside after that. Should one have to make sure that the staff are looking after themselves properly. I think not.

      Enlightened - 2012-02-18 17:28

      this sounds like self help. They can do it themselves. f mattresses aren't that expensive and it's easy to build a base from wood lying around, why don't they do so? As mentioned earlier, if the local facilities are not good enough, they are more than welcome to try their luck in the welfare states up North.

      Sunshine - 2012-02-19 00:35

      Marcell, Make them pay you a deposit (take it out their wages) and only give it back if they can show they've looked after it when they leave.

      Gail - 2012-02-20 18:31

      When last did you buy a mattress???!

  • lindz.kok - 2012-02-18 08:38

    the workers on the farm where i worked had the best living coditions and us white workers went to the farm owner and told him we where not happy that the black workers did not have a suitable lunch area, where they then cleaned out a store room and fitted it with chairs and tables for the black labourers to eat. we ate in the machine shed sitting on crates lol. but if this is the truth it should be investigated and suitable training protective clothing and suiteble living conditions should be provided. it is however importand to rememder the anc is under investigation by the eu for genocide and they will do what ever they can to turn the investigation on those claiming to being victemised. there are two sides to every coin.

      Marcell - 2012-02-18 08:54

      Yip, how believable can it be when the face of an ancESTOR is on one side of the coin? Maybe the other side is already stolen.

      phathuchicos - 2012-02-18 09:16

      oh please shut up with your nonsense...come to Limpopo province. You'll be left speechless.

      lindz.kok - 2012-02-18 09:33

      show me where i wrote that this is all propegated noncense and should be ignored azanian. i said it might be! but should be properly investigated and mesures put in place if it is the truth. remember that since the eu investigation started concerning genocide the anc are sudenly interested in farms and demonising farm owners.

      Psalm - 2012-02-18 09:58

      @ Lindz.kok You claim that the EU is investigating the ANC for genocide. Please provide us with a credible evidence from the relevant EU body/organ proving that it is "investigating the ANC for genocide". Please also idenitify the relevant EU body. You see, your claim is rather bizarre as I have been on many EU forums where some white South African has claimed "white genocide in SA" and has been laughed at - quite rightly too.

      phathuchicos - 2012-02-18 10:01

      did i say black/white. I meant all farmers even the minister didn't specify any race responsible.

      lindz.kok - 2012-02-18 10:23 so here you will se that we are on level 6 of genocide watch already where 8 is full blown genocide like in nazi germany. here is an article by a flemish news agency called flaams belang with all the relative eu representatives and there is also a brittish campaighn running at the moment for witch i cant find the url link right now. these reports have been handed in this year. please dont try and make me out as being uninformed.

      lindz.kok - 2012-02-18 10:25

      neither did i specifie race anywhere azanian please re read.

      lindz.kok - 2012-02-18 10:26 vlaams belang

      Psalm - 2012-02-18 10:50

      @ Lindz.kok Perhaps I should take the time to educate you: 1. genocidewatch is not an EU body or organ; 2. Vlaams Belangs is classified as an far-right extremist party. It is also not an EU body or organ. I repeat: please provide us with evidence from an EU body or organ that it is investigating the ANC for genocide- as you claim.

      lindz.kok - 2012-02-18 11:00

      look i provided you with a link with information on the eu members of parlerment what is what you have asked for. if you are to lazy to read up on it and do some research as i have that is not my problem, secondly where on earth do you get your info on the fact that vlaams belang is a rightwinged propeganda machine? they are a legitamate news forum in vlaandere, thirdly genocide whatch is a world wide regognised organisation. i travel to the netherlands regularly as my daughter lives there, i am not rightwinged either. so please i can see you are on a troling mission. if the fact that this is the truth and that this reality has come to the anc goverment bothers you then do something about it. dont come here and try to make me out as being illiterate. thank you.

      Psalm - 2012-02-18 11:23

      @ Lindz.kok Again, let me educate you: 1. No political party with representation in the EU parliament constitutes the EU parliament. Your stupid comment (that you referred me to "members" of the EU i.e. Vlaams Belang (which article I did not bother to read as it is irrelevant) is as stupid and ignorant as someone claiming, for example, that because the FF Plus has stated that it loves Hitler, the SA Parliament loves Hitler); 2.there is NO REPORT ON THIS PLANET of any EU body or organ investigating the ANC for genocide. The EU Parliament has no such fictional investigation, the EU Commission has no such fictional invesitgation, the EU Council has no such fictional investigation, not even the EU High Representative is entertaining the fictional investigation you claim is going on. Your claim is fictional and reveals your ignorance of the EU and its organs. I will, nonetheless, give you one more chance: please provide us with evidence from an EU body or organ that it is investigating the ANC for genocide - as you claim. I am not holding my breath though...

      lindz.kok - 2012-02-18 12:38

      i am not the one that needs to be educated, i am not going to entertain you for the fact that you need some self satisfaction. dont take my word for anything as i am sure you are not. your atempts to defame me doesnt bother me in the least. if you want facts then go look it up. if your research on the matter proves me to be wrong then so be it, then i am clearly deluted. these are based on the reports i have been following from the brittish media and european media. so stop insulting my intelegance it doest put you in a better light. do some unbias investigative work. my family and friends life all over europe and they keep me informed as this information stares them in the face each day. i have no will to sit here all they and waste my time to prove you right or wrong. thank you and have a great weekend.

      Psalm - 2012-02-18 12:55

      @ Lindz.Kok You keep posting lost of words, but NOT ONCE have you provided us with any evidence from an EU body or organ that it is investigating the ANC for genocide. I do not give a hoot about your confidence issues - you seem to try to convince yourself that you lack of evidence is somehow due to my not grasping the irrelevant links you provided. You do not know what you are talking about on this topic. No clue. Furthermore, you are unable to provide the evidence from the EU body or organ to support your fictional claims. The more you comment, the more ignorant you look. Simply acknowledge that your claim is untrue. That's what any person with any ounce of integrity would do.

      Psalm - 2012-02-18 19:31

      @ Lindz.Kok Seems I missed a bizarre question from you namely that I claimed "vlaams belang is a rightwinged propeganda machine". You also previously claimed that Vlaams Belang is a "flemish news agency". Newsflash, you are clueless. Vlaams Belang is a political party - a far-right-wing political party. No, I did not say Vlaams Belang is a right-wing propaganda machine. I said that Vlaams Belang is a FAR-RIGHT extremist political party. In case you missed the newsflash, the link you gave me is run by an ORG (i.e organisation named Vlaams Belang). If you had a clue, you would have seen the section on the website entitled "De partij" (the party), which gives information on the far-right extremist racist party. European media constantly refer to Vlaams Belang as far-right. Here is a link to an academic paper to educate you further on racist Vlaams Belang Enjoy your weekend.

      illaswart - 2012-02-19 20:19

      well, maybe a genocide investigation should be launched. otherwise, who's the anc going to blame for the poor treatment of "their people" after all the white farmers have been murdered? @psalm: shall we call you an academic narcissist? (law, i presume.) you are clearly missing the point, as most academicists do. so shut up and go do some useless research.

      Psalm - 2012-02-20 08:29

      @ illaswart Shall we, in turn, call you an arrogant ignoramus? Go read the conversation thread between me and your Vlaams Belang loving friend, Lindz, before making an even greater fool of yourself.

  • Sannie - 2012-02-18 09:02

    According to the comments here, everything black people do or say is nonsense. Only other kind is perfect thus Greece and the rest of Europe economies is heading south. Then my question is: Why don't this kind migrate to Europe?

      Bomb - 2012-02-18 09:40

      Azanian....funny how much you allow yourselves to be prayed upon if that's the case. And go look up the correct spelling for "ather". Obviously a product of our fckd up educational system that your masters control.

      phathuchicos - 2012-02-18 09:58 the dictionary and check the word prayed

      Garth - 2012-02-18 10:40

      @sannie - very generalised, probably a result of an incomplete education due to apartheid and the racist whites, hey?. There are some very objective comments here, but because some of them are anti that useless, worthless anc that you and your ilk support, you immediately label them `racist.' Its a democracy, you racist porksword. @azanian - define African please. Then when you are finished, define American, European, Australian and Asian all without being a snot-nosed little racist, if you please. @bomb - people who live in glass houses . . ..

      Bomb - 2012-02-18 11:42

      tbooze.....just more proof that you cannot do anything for yourself. Always follow where there is development and good municipal governance, then when you arrive, you destroy and break everything. Do you know what grasshoppers do??? They follow the green pastures, and destroy everything. What does that make you and those who think like you? Why can your anc municipalities and provinces not do the same job as the WC? Why do you want to try and run from your anc provinces to the WC. Why don't you stay where you are, and enjoy the product of your vote.

      sean.redmond3 - 2012-02-18 12:20

      @TheAzanian. "defenseless africans". Huh?????????????

      Gail - 2012-02-20 18:53

      Well Sannie, unless they have parents or family ancestry or are married to someone who does or they have academic credentials which that country is seeking or they can prove themselves to be capable of not being a burden financially (have loads of money in other words) or in direct danger of being killed, thrown into jail indefinitely etc then there is no way that country will accept them. Very few of the people you'd like to leave qualify under any of those categories. Look what happened to the guy who got asylum in Canada! The fact is these farmers and their families ensure that your families have samp and beans and vegetables and meat and milk on your table. Each time one of them is murdered all the people who work on those farms lose their jobs and have to move on or resort to murder themselves. And next time they might murder one of your family for a computer.

  • Neville - 2012-02-18 09:03

    Madam Minister...where do you get your knowledge of farm dwellings? Every farmer I have known has endeavoured to maintain a high standard of housing for his employees. BUT to no avail. Beds are sold.Toilets are filled with stones.Taps and pipes are broken.Taps are left on. Windows are kept shut or broken and boarded up.

      Shirley - 2012-02-18 10:34

      tbooze: are you inciting murder? And news 24 allows this??????????????

      Garth - 2012-02-18 10:41

      Shirley! Do not feed the racist, trolling, ignorant supporter of the useless, worthless anc!

  • phathuchicos - 2012-02-18 09:12

    Now I'm going to report farm worker abuse to Afriforum and European Union...SERIOUS had enough of watching my fellow community members living like dogs.

      derekneilmaclachlan - 2012-02-18 09:24

      My farm worker was involved in a domestic squabble where he stole another mans wife away from her. There was an altercation between the two men and all the windows in his house were destroyed. I gave him new glass and in almost two years he has not even bothered to fit the please dont tell me you are sick of watching your comrades live like dogs.....most of them have an entitlement issue and want everything done for them....

      Marcell - 2012-02-18 09:33

      According to Jayden and The Watcher you should do the moral thing and keep on fixing things. These people that stay in down and buy there veggies from Spar has no idea what its like to live on a farm and have a daily battle to keep head above water. If it is not your labour force that wants to ruin you it is nature. But because of you passion for it you do it week in and week out.

      Shirley - 2012-02-18 09:34

      Go ahead. Whilst you are at it show them the squalid conditions of the squatter camps,the miners who are living in an empty run down hostel,starving because their black boss hasnt paid them for over 2 years and they dont even have the money to return home. In your report dont forget to mention the names of this mines owners!!!!!!!!!!!

      Bomb - 2012-02-18 09:44

      Then also report your ANC government for allowing all the people in squatter camps, locations and delapidating city centres to live like dogs after almost 20 years of being in power. But then again, you are probably the child of a rich tendrepeneur fatcat, who can only switch on your laptop and make a lot of noise, rather that actually getting out and helping the poor and hungry.

      Archie - 2012-02-18 09:51

      Your buddies must leave the farms and go live in the nearby townships.This will save the farmers a fortune and the caring ANC gov, can then provide them all with new houses/beds with mattrases/grants/medical aid/free electricity/free water and the farmers can then mechanise all those menial jobs you cry about.Reality is they only work on farms because they have no other way of getting money.30% pass rate from a sh@t education system run by unions only gets you a farm job.

      Farta - 2012-02-18 09:57

      So tell me The-Azanian parasite, who do you blame for the appaling living conditions in the townships and squatter camps? The whites? You and your ilk represents exactly what is wrong with South Africa. Go back to your deceitful Prez (you and your 'bruddas' vote for each election) and ask him to make good on his empty promises.

      phathuchicos - 2012-02-18 10:29 we have to go back to the past, when massive displacements of Africans were taking place.

      Farta - 2012-02-18 10:47

      The Azanian waffled: "do we have to go back to the past...". Perhaps we should go "back to the future" because the South Africa I once knew has had a serious stroke and will never ever be the same again. Talking of "massive displacements". Try something else dude - that line and the way YOUR ANC had re-written South African history to suit you and your next of kin won't work on me.

  • devviem - 2012-02-18 09:26

    The-Azanian, I am an African 2 u know! Your black skin dont make you more African than my white skin. I'm staying!

      phathuchicos - 2012-02-18 09:55


      phathuchicos - 2012-02-18 10:32

      Go to China...i bet it will take you hours of plastic sugery in order to be called a chinese or asians. Why waist your time, appreciate who you are..european.

      Garth - 2012-02-18 10:47

      @reginald - define African, if you would be so kind, without placing your ignorance and racism on display for all to read. Then, define American, European, Asian, Australian and last but not least, South African. You cannot? Why, too racist? Now, even if you had stated `of African origin' you would be wrong, too! Get used to it black African, I am an African and proud of it!

      Garth - 2012-02-18 11:26

      I AM NOT YOUR BUDDY and shall never lower myself to be that. Collins Concise English Dictionary: African ('aefrikan) adj 1 denoting or relating to Africa or any of its peoples, languages, nations, etc > n 2 a native, inhabitant, or citizen of any of the countries of Africa 3 a member or descendant of any of the peoples of Africa, esp a black person. So, by your selective rationale, only the specialisation at the end of the third description of the word, holds any truth. You're a racist. End of conversation.

      phathuchicos - 2012-02-18 11:34

      Garth we are not talking about citizenship...we are talking about nativeness.

      logical007 - 2012-02-18 12:08

      @ Azanian (Phathutshedzo Ramusileli Mushavhi Tshikosi) Since I was born in AFRICA I am AFRICAN. I am still here, working paying tax, which unfortunately does not make it back into the country but rather the pockets of corrupt ministers, UNLIKE YOU who is living in Seoul, South Korea! Now the farmers duty to the workers is to pay them wages. What the workers do with their wages is their prerogative. Anything extra the farmer gives to workers is out of kindness, NOT A MUST!

  • Patrick - 2012-02-18 09:34

    I've got a farm compound with 10 employees. I bought them beds, bedding, cooking pots, cutlery, crockery, torches etc etc. Within 1 week it was all gone. Removed to "home" in the location. When I told them it was for work and they must bring it back they simply shrugged; nothing came back. I did it again the next year with the same result. Now I don't buy them anything. Sometimes they make their own lives hard.

      Marcell - 2012-02-18 11:28

      I rest my case.

  • Kim - 2012-02-18 09:39

    Not for one minute am I in agreement with these workers to live under these conditions. This is not my point. These are farm workers with a job, what about the rest of the unemployed. Do these ministers worry about their living conditions? So now they will rather close the farm down and put these people back where they were before....with no job. Are these idiot ministers for real !!!

      phathuchicos - 2012-02-18 09:52

      You are saying that because you are currently nestled in mansion somewhere in the laefy suburbs of Joburg or Cape town.

      Kim - 2012-02-18 10:07

      @The Azanian :This is not about me Assh... re read and read my comment again and again. Get that chip off your shoulder. It is people like you that continually pull this country down. You have no reason to live other than to point finger. Grow Up!!

      phathuchicos - 2012-02-18 11:01

      @william...with pleasure, id love to diversify my friend portfolio.

      Farta - 2012-02-18 11:06

      @William, you must be living in Liberalia. I am not sure as to whether you are South African or not, but just in case you’re not – The-Azanian is not interested in friendship, smoking pot and singing kumbaya around a campfire with you. He is a racist of the worst order. My advice to you – do not fraternise with him and his ‘bruddas’. They will just drag you down with them.

      phathuchicos - 2012-02-18 11:13

      Someone is you wanna be my friend also?

      jamie.stockley - 2012-02-18 17:59

      @ THE AZANIAN.....Bud, change that profile pic, you write as dumb as you look. Nobody is going to take you seriously with that face loverboy Take that picture and submit it to the Oxford Dictionary and ask them to place it next to - idiot. No words required.

      illaswart - 2012-02-19 20:45

      @the azanian idiot. the extent of your twisted view of reality is disturbing. you have no idea what an 'african' is. IT IS fundamentally SOMEONE WHO WAS BORN IN AFRICA , NOT SOMEONE WHO IS BLACK OR BELONGS TO SOME NATIVE TRIBE. and if you really had a grasp of reality, you would know that a person's native identification is irrellevant when living in a democratic state. and pleeeeeeease use a dictionary. Your spelling mistakes makes me wonder whether you've passed grade 5. Like our president.

      Gail - 2012-02-20 19:29

      Um, Azanian, If South Africa belongs to your people what are you doing in Seoul? Why aren't you at home using your skills to assist your own people? What profession are you in? Teaching? Doctor or lawyer? Have you repaid your free education yet? Just curious. I will openly tell you that none of my son live or work here because they are disadvantaged now by BEE in part, however the one paid his debt to South Africa before he left by teaching for nothing in Soweto and supports a child in Grade 11 who requires extra lessons in Maths and Physics. Why did you leave?

  • J.D. - 2012-02-18 09:40

    Do Oliphant also visit squatter camps and see how that people are sleeping and then find out who employ them and go see the emploer and give hinm pohibition orders, maybe they are working for the local government. It is easy to target farmers. I saw farmers providing good conditions for their workers but the infrastructure like toilets taps and doors ets are constantly vandalised id not stolen. Eventually they give up caring

  • Fanie - 2012-02-18 09:41

    Ok, Mr Watcher you start giving beds. I gave our gardner a bed with a mattress and lo and behold the porn shop owner rings me to find out if the man was talking the thruth when he wanted to porn it a half an hr. after i gave it to him.

      CraigB - 2012-02-18 10:12

      Fanie - I think that's pawn, not porn, yes!!?? Unless it's a rerun of "The Gardener's Hose is Too Long for the Bush"?

  • Nonku Butelezi - 2012-02-18 09:46

    I really don't understand what the problem is here because she's doing her job. You complain that the ministers don't do their jobs & when they do you complain again. Just because there are people living in squatters doesn't mean investigations shouldn't take place. Imagine if you complained about service delivery & I told you to not complain because people live in squatters.

      lindz.kok - 2012-02-18 10:05

      the fact of the matter is that only now that the anc is being investigated do they investigate living conditions on farms after almosr 20 years of not giving a damn. its called crises management. they need to find a guilty party in this case the those who laid the charge against them to justifie theyre wrong doings.

      TaniaSandraSteyn - 2012-02-18 10:16

      I agree with what the Minister is doing, but I must state that if you do give your Farm Workers the facilities, some will clean up, and others make a mess. My brother built a full bathroom next to the Dairy. Only one worker used the shower, and he was from Zimbabwe. The toilet was so filthy, no one wanted to clean it. That is why we don't have public rest rooms in SA any more. I had a temporary worker for two days a week. I gave him a mattress to use while sharing accommodation with the permanent workers. After disappearing like clockwork every Monday and not returning for a month, the mattress was gone. Would you give him another mattress, Nonke?

      Nonku Butelezi - 2012-02-18 10:20

      Well let the minister investigate then! If these employers have nothing to hide then they should not worry and the minister's tactics will fail.

      Marcell - 2012-02-18 11:35

      Nonku, Do you think the minister is going to believe the farmer that his workers sold the mattrasses and kept on breaking the windows? Eish, me don't think she will do so.

      peterjohnjnb - 2012-02-18 12:24

      Nonku I'm inclined to agree with you. Where injustices exist they must be adressed, that self evident but I also think that focusing purely on one area for the sake of political point scoring, is quite counter productive.

  • devviem - 2012-02-18 09:48

    Strange thing that most of the racist remarks comes from the "African" posts.

  • Fanie - 2012-02-18 09:48

    Mr Jaydeen are you a black that just takes and dont give back. Let me tell you somthing, that when the Pomodzi Mine went bakrupt, it was the white people who collected the money and started feeding 3600 black people without pay. No black man volinteered to help. some said they would help but they must be paid. The black unions did not lift a finger to help but intefered tremdously in trying to hinder the operations.

      Marcell - 2012-02-18 11:36

      Afriform/Solidariteit is also assisting.

      TaniaSandraSteyn - 2012-02-19 03:09

      Fanie, we do it over and over. No acknowledgement, no thank you, except a kick up the bum. Carry on. We may earn ourselves a place in heaven, or at least a moment of knowing that we did our best.

      Gail - 2012-02-20 20:02

      Sadly this is true. The assistance and Aid they receive from abroad as well isn't appreciated as they do not have a culture of volunteering and charity and the culture of ubuntu no longer works either in part because they have learned that being helpless results in free food and free housing. It is called learned helplessness. We need to stop promising people that survival is free, that they can eat for nothing. Fanie, you did a good thing but this is part of why we have a problem. A smart black woman back in the 70's told me this. The impression we create when we do this is that we are loaded and have endless financial resources so it is easy to convince people that whites stole from them and whites owe them something. We have raised a whole generation worldwide to believe that the world owes them a living or whatever they want. It's known as the entitlement generation. You are charitable and christian but I bet you have debt of your own which you are working and taking responsibility for. I do the same thing from time to time in terms of food. It is the humane thing to do. There are no easy answers.

  • Kelley - 2012-02-18 09:49

    Why does everything have to be brought down to race?? us WHITES work just as hard to live in these kind of conditions and so do any other race! This factor is that the employer should provide the needed equipment and living arangements and make it clear that it is theirs to look after - if anything should happen to any of it then its there dng!! Slandering the whites is just another way of talking crap cos YOU cannot speak for yourself on how OUR governtment does nothing for anyone !! we are all in this together and we all live in the same conditions - it is up to YOU to decide on what your gng to do about it but blaming each race isnt gng to solve ANYTHING!!!

      TaniaSandraSteyn - 2012-02-19 19:50

      Kelley, the Government are catching a wake-up now the opposition is getting stronger. Read up on Working for Water. It's a great project and well managed.

  • Garth Chivell - 2012-02-18 10:04

    Well no great surprise here. I would simply close the compound as per the Minister and all workers would have to commute to work at their own expense - I can assure u that they would all be to happy live on the old bed springs

      Garth Chivell - 2012-02-18 10:30

      Vegi, u may need to back to school old friend! What do u mean by the farmer can build better housing with "free" labour? These employees are on the payroll so how are they free??? More so where does the money come from for the materials??

      Juan - 2012-02-18 11:02

      @Garth well for once I agree with something veggie said, a lot of these workers earn peanuts. Now how are they supposed to commute at their own expense while earning R50 a week? Cummon man you can not tell me it's out of a farmers reach to provide humane living conditions for their workers. It's about just not giving a damn about your workers that's all. Now I hope these farmers are in the minority.

      Garth - 2012-02-18 12:49

      @the vegetable - here I am fool.

  • Vegi - 2012-02-18 10:05

    While she is shocked by the living conditions, I am shocked by her ineptitude and slave mentality which informs her that the government needs to build houses in the farms. Whose property will those houses be? Since farmers pay non salaries, they should build decent accomodation for people who make it possible for them to continue farming. Another option is for the government to build houses and vegetable gardens on state land near the farms so that farm workers are not dependant on a farmer for accomodation, they only work on a farm voluntary while having an alternative way of life. This can vastly reduce exploitation because the workers will not accept slave wages in order to eat. I don't know what cliteria was used to appoint this imbecile as a Minister because everybody else is aware of the hovels in which farm workers live and the bestial manner in which they are treated.

      TaniaSandraSteyn - 2012-02-18 10:26

      Vegi, she is a very effective Minister and plays fair with all. Is that why you don't like her? I agree with your third paragraph. They have done so in our community at Rocklands. I offered the commuting workers some seeds, as they were asking for veggies from my garden (not you!). They said that they can;t plant their own gardens because they don't have a fenced off area. Come now! All these people have worked on a farm for more than ten years and they don't know how to put up a fence? Please note that they are welcome to use the piles of fencing and poles lying around on the farm to do so. It would cost them nothing but a bit of labour. The average wage in China is R800 and the government doesn't subsidise their houses. What do you consider a slave wage?

      Michelle Kirsten - 2012-02-18 12:38

      Non salaries??

      TaniaSandraSteyn - 2012-02-18 22:54

      Michelle, the minimum wage for farm workers is R1400 per month. Even if you forget to switch on the pump and cost the farmer R6000 in repairs. If you are employing and training staff with no compensation, doing your best to educate, allowing them to live near your house (at the risk of murder), there should be some form of compensation. How many factories do the same?

      Gail - 2012-02-20 20:30

      Vegi, don't let yourself down by generalising or assuming. NOT ALL farmers treat their labourers treat their workers as sub humans, however the farmers do have to keep their eye on the bottom line as well as the vagaries of the weather and the cost of everything used in keeping the farm running and making a profit which gets ploughed back into various things such as wages, housing etc., maintenance on equipment, fuel for farm vehicles, water supply etc.. It is highly likely that the farmer has a huge loan from the bank to cover necessary purchases and services. I'm not saying that there are not farmers who exploit the loopholes and that is despicable greed. But greed applies across the board and is not limited to one group or another.

  • Kgomoco Stunrr-k Gailele - 2012-02-18 10:10

    why is it that some of you people choose to talk about the conditions in the townships and decide to turn a blind eye on the matter at hand? Every employer should provide a safe working environment for their employees.

      Marcell - 2012-02-18 11:40

      Your home is not part of your working environment. How and what you do when at home is not your employers problems.

      Benmica - 2012-02-18 13:57

      Agree with you. They pay these people so little...

      Louise - 2012-02-18 20:10

      Yes. People, this IS A GOOD THING! Let's leave the other matters for a moment and applaud a minister doing their duty. This is clearly a more universal problem, and is being addressed. Babysteps ARE still STEPS, I say...

  • Marion - 2012-02-18 10:14

    I am certainly not in favour of anyone abusing their labour. I also believe that many farm attacks are revenge driven. A farmer I know told me that all the farmers he knew who had been attacked on their farms treated their labourers like dirt (to put it politely). If the law states that farm labour must be provided with beds and mattresses in their accommodation, then they must be provided with them. If the law does not state that, the farmer is not responsible for the workers beds. What farmers should do is at least meet all the minimum requirements as laid down by law. Anything beyond that is done out of compassion or because the farmer can afford to be more generous. Contrary to what many believe, farmers are not rich. Their land may be worth something, but most are past their eyeballs in debt and not because they live extravagant lifestyles either. And this issue of unventilated living accommodation is going to come back and bite the minister on the butt just like the toilet saga bit the government on the butt.

      tbooze - 2012-02-18 10:23

      1st positive comment, if you treat your workers like you would like to be treated if you were in their they would treat you with the same respect ......people have to decide if they want employees or slaves

      tbooze - 2012-02-18 10:23

      1st positive comment, if you treat your workers like you would like to be treated if you were in their they would treat you with the same respect ......people have to decide if they want employees or slaves

      TenRas1 - 2012-02-18 10:39

      I love your comment but killing a person cannot be justified but do farmers get assistance from gov for workers accommodation?

      David - 2012-02-18 10:55

      Question, do you eat meat and vegies. If the answer is yes then you are also part of the problem.

      Desmond - 2012-02-18 12:02

      @ tbooze-you double post every time. You must be a carbon copy.

  • Gerhard - 2012-02-18 10:30

    After 100 years of struggle the ANC is still struggling in every department.

  • lhfick - 2012-02-18 10:36

    Please this is the situation in all the provinces, so please give them the farms so this matter can be resolved. Reports from several census officials confirmed that these conditions really exists. In some cases the neglect was very evident. Farmers that are living a luxurious life style, while their workers were not! Does your employer have to provide you with housing? Only if you are a political figure!

  • Paul - 2012-02-18 10:38

    The Labour Minister achieved her purpose: black people angry with white people, farmers being blamed, no different to Mugabe's tactic yet we fall for it all over again.

      tbooze - 2012-02-18 10:46

      Yet u still in denial.......what makes me more sick are the comments on this site

      tbooze - 2012-02-18 10:47

      Yet u still in denial.......what makes me more sick are the comments on this site

      David - 2012-02-18 10:52

      @tbooze you are the one who started, you are pathetic

      Garth - 2012-02-18 12:51

      David! Do not feed the racist, trolling, ignorant supporter of the useless, worthless anc!

  • Lenie - 2012-02-18 10:46

    Our mattress is 10 years old, the bathroom old and miserable and the house in bad shape. My husband does what he can maintenance-wise, I have hands, I choose not to live in a messy house. It comes down to pride.

      Benmica - 2012-02-18 13:59

      What salary do you get compared to these people. Treat people like animals and they behave like animals.

      Lenie - 2012-02-18 17:13

      One first need to appreciate and look after what one have. There are numerous posts here which point out that mattresses etc were provided but not looked after. If my child (which I love very much) loses his cellphone every time it is replaced he will have to do without. If I replace a mattress which is lost within a week I then I will not replace it every time. If I am too lazy to clean my toilet then it will remain dirty. This is a choice I make and this is the choice a lazy worker makes. There comes a time in a grown man's life where his mother stops cleaning up behind him whether he is a farm work or manager. I have seen old people who are desperately poor, but who have character and pride. If you treat a person like an animal he will behave according to what he is.

  • kobie.nel1 - 2012-02-18 11:02

    Mildred Olifant is lying. They can freely sleep on the floor if they want too. NOBODY "Force" them to sleep on the springs. This is obvious propaganda.

  • phathuchicos - 2012-02-18 11:21

    The ideal species to take over South Africa...Aliens from outerspace

      Bomb - 2012-02-18 11:55

      They won't cause they looked at Africa and saw a species even more alien than them.

  • Desmond - 2012-02-18 11:53

    Boo hoo. Look how the cattle ranchers labour in America or the sheep herders in Austrialia live. No difference so what makes the farm labourers so special

      Marcell - 2012-02-18 12:33

      For the last 400 years they got everything for free. Housing, bag of pap( because the man will use his whole salary for booze it was an accepted method of payment), milk,eat when a cow was slaughtered and free transport to town. They even got their own piece of land which they could use/or not. They could even use the farmers seed / tractor/diesel if they choose to plant the same crop. All that they need to do is keep it clean. 2-5 ton/ hektare could be harvested. That could supply them with maize that they could trade or keep for later use.

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