Farmers, protesting workers in talks

2012-11-07 13:14

Cape Town - Talks will take place between farmers and their workers in De Doorns, Western Cape on Wednesday morning following violent protests, Cosatu said.

Congress of SA Trade Unions provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich said they would join the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration at 11:20 to facilitate negotiations at the Worcester civic centre.

"These negotiations must find a way in which workers can get decent wages and end the atrocious living conditions of workers on farms and in the informal areas," Ehrenreich said.

"The ill treatment and under-payment of workers by some farmers must stop, otherwise we will see a Marikana in De Doorns."

Cosatu said it would make sure protests were peaceful.

Farmer arrested

Workers had gathered on the N1 highway since Monday, resulting in 30 hectares of vineyards being burned, and several arrests. On Tuesday, around 8 000 workers gathered in the small town before protesting, forcing the temporary closure of the N1 between De Doorns and Touws River.

A farmer was arrested during the day for attempted murder after he allegedly shot at protesting workers.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel André Traut said two people were arrested on Tuesday after looting a bottle store.

"The situation in De Doorns is still being monitored, and no violence or incidents have been reported today [Wednesday]."

ANC blamed

Both the Democratic Alliance and provincial agriculture MEC believed the protest was politically motivated.

DA provincial leader Ivan Meyer blamed the African National Congress.

"It is very clear to me that much of the protest in this area is politically motivated, and the local ANC... once again played a large role in inciting the violence and vandalism," he said on Tuesday.

Wouter Kriel, spokesperson for agriculture MEC Gerrit van Rensburg, on Tuesday said there did not seem to be people leading the protest and no list of demands was handed out.

"This is not a labour strike and [is] not organised by farm workers, even though farm workers are involved. It seems to be politically motivated," Kriel said.

  • gembleton1 - 2012-11-07 13:29

    Tony Ehrenreich get a real job you leach

  • joe.farmer.92775 - 2012-11-07 13:30

    first point of order at meeting, throw tony rabble rouser out on his ear. arrest anyone in the area inciting violence specifically those in red shirts

  • marilyn.docherty.9 - 2012-11-07 13:40

    Burning the vineyards exasperates the problem - HOW FOOLISH!!!!!

  • petro.robinson.3 - 2012-11-07 13:59

    I hope these representatives ask the workers that burned everything, what did they accomplish?\r\n\r\nI would also like to know why the shops was looted and what did it have to do with \wages\?

  • andres.dewet - 2012-11-07 14:01

    The problem is complex. Seasonal workers are only needed close to or within harvest. Permanent workers needed on fruit farms are much less in number. What happens is migrant workers from rural ECape arrive to take advantage of harvest-jobs, then head back home telling other jobless rural people that work is available in say, De Doorns, then another 4 families arrive, many stay. This, the municipalities don't have a budget for firstly, and secondly, farms remain finite, thus jobs are finite... rural poor from the east keep coming, but orchards aren't getting bigger. Fact is, ECape's dismal economy, corrupt government and lack of opportunities are becoming the WCape's problem. We need to find holsitic solutions and this includes developing lagging provinces. The Western Cape cannot do this alone.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-11-07 15:15

      Spot on! Perfect explanation.

      patricia.dewet.92 - 2012-11-07 15:59

      What is moving in to WC. The school dropouts and 10 children families. The EC have some of the best farmland but it belongs to the state and is looked after by the chiefs.

  • Strikeback - 2012-11-07 14:15

    Did Tony Ehrenreich stand for COSATU against Patricia de Lille? Why the surprise that people see the hand of the ruling party in this? Vineyards were burnt, a bottle store looted and workers used the road we pay tax for, for their "Illegal, Unprotected" action. Get rid of them. Report to and ensure the neighbors do not accidentally employ these people.

      Mike Peach Purchase - 2012-11-07 20:54

      Strikeback,nice one.

  • nettie.potgieter.5 - 2012-11-07 14:18

    When it get hot in the ANC and their parners in crime's kitchen, they always cook up 'n storm in the WC.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-11-07 15:16

      Yup, and the fact these "strikers" were wearing "farmworker refugee" t shirts is a clear indication this was orchestrated by the ANC or COSATU.. Fransman and Tony, hand in hand.. Deflecting attention away from Zoomer's comp... oops, palace.

  • patricia.dewet.92 - 2012-11-07 15:49

    If that Tony idiot is in the vicinity then you can know this is politics nothing to do with labour. I am so glad he is no family of mine, because with so much hate in him it must be awful to know him. But he must be careful, one of these days strikers may kill him.

  • schalk.botha.75 - 2012-11-07 15:51

    If we don't stand up against the anc, the country will become like Zimbabwe and all the good people raped, tortured and killed. Stop praying for things to change and start acting!!! God gave us free will!! And will not fight our battles for us! But he will with us!!! Act now before its to late!!! Our forefathers will be so ashamed if they knew what we aloud to happen to our country!!! They gave EVERY THING for the country!!! And all every body is doing is moan!!!! Wake up!!!!!!

      Mike Peach Purchase - 2012-11-07 20:34

      I totally agree Schalk.

  • Mike Peach Purchase - 2012-11-07 20:43

    There are more dof comments made here than there are strikers in this country no wonder we are in deep crap.African mentallity is about destroy then beg,give for free,we want it all,we dont know anything else because we dont want to,keep sending government agents to stuff everything up.One is lost,the other is broken.

  • Mike Peach Purchase - 2012-11-07 20:50

    Hang on why dont us tax payers go on strike as we are being abused by government,lets get some of our own agents together and destroy.............!

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