Labour dept calls for comment on wages

2012-11-16 21:10

Johannesburg - Interested parties have been invited to comment on a possible review of the sectoral determination for farmworkers, the labour department said on Friday.

The sectoral determination prescribed the minimum wages and conditions of employment for farmworkers, the department said in a statement.

"I would like to urge all the parties to go into these talks with openness and willingness, to bring to a close the recent events that have been threatening to engulf our country and put it on a dangerous course regarding food security," Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant said in the statement.

"Most of the representatives have shown that they are interested in putting the needs of the country first, instead of their [own] narrow interests, and I would like to commend them."

Spreading protests

Protests over wages in the Western Cape spread across the Boland, with table grape harvesters demanding to be paid R150 a day. Most earned between R69 and R75 a day. The strike was continuing in other areas of the province.

On Friday, protesters looted shops and torched businesses in the Hex River Valley in the Western Cape. On Friday morning, roads, including the N2, were blockaded with rocks and burning tyres.

The department met with various farmers' unions on Friday and negotiations would start next Thursday. Eight representatives would represent the farmers and eight the workers.

The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration would mediate the negotiations.

Oliphant also called for an urgent meeting with the Commission for Conditions of Employment to advise her on the best way forward.

  • pdvermaak - 2012-11-16 21:24

    This will leed to no good, we need common sence. Workers need to earn more, but can the industry afford it?????

      goeie.jaarling - 2012-11-16 22:07

      I agree with you, they will talk and talk and talk and there will be no solution....the African way, you just talk and everything magically happens like job creation, service delivery, etc. these poor ANC leaders are so far removed from reality it is not even funny anymore.

      martin.wohlfarter.5 - 2012-11-17 08:18

      Economics 101 (minus inflation, etc). On a profitable average Boland wine grape farm, where labor accounts for 14% of production cost, an increase in minimum wage to R150.00/laborer/day would decrease farm returns by 44%, mechanization is cheaper on the long run... It would make more (economic) sense to sell the farm and live off the interest (if you can get it sold). On table grapes however labor already accounts for 45% of production cost - you can afford a 10% rise.

      MallyGold - 2012-11-17 19:55

      Just as the farm workers demand R150 a day; so I demand a decent days work in return. I don’t mind paying R150 a day for a decent day’s work; but this reciprocal deal is withheld from me.

  • Desilusionada - 2012-11-16 21:46

    "The sectoral determination prescribed the minimum wages and conditions of employment for farmworkers, the department said in a statement." Quoted by the Minister of Labour (and absenteeism when her portfolio burns). NOT the DA, NOT Helen Zille, NOT the farmers. Which all the more exposes Fransman, Ehrenreich (even TJP), et al for their disingenuous, (hows that for a ANC buzz word Mo?), actions and speeches. So why burn the farmers' vineyards, pack stores and crates? Why throw stones at the police? Why assault an old man? Why get killed? Who will have the guts to determine how many seasonal workers will now not get a job as a result of all these hooliganism? And make it public? How many people will not be employed as a result of a crate shortage? Harvest that will not be picked? Businesses closed down? How is it possible that you work in an industry, and is prepared to carry on like you do, and you do not even know who determines your wages? Or is it easier to believe the Cosatu/SACP/ANC party lines, because they sound great? These same people who is in charge ultimately of the sectoral determination? Which says a lot for the ignorance present and logical, probing and inquisitive nature of people that is not nurtured. And a lot about those that misled these strikers in the 1st place. And much more about how much they really care about the poor and hungry. Nice tweet Fransman about your Sunday Braai settling in your stomach!.....

  • goeie.jaarling - 2012-11-16 22:25

    There is a Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration that mediates the negotiations and then there is a Commission for Conditions of Employment that must advise her....she is the F..n minister for F...k sakes what are we paying her for? But then again, looking at her profile it is clear she is just an uneducated, useless cader deployee.

  • richard.lemmer1 - 2012-11-16 22:30

    Input will mean nothing . They will steamroll whatever they want to do . Time the farmers stop delivering food and goods . Seee how long they can strike on an empty stomach !! Bastards ,,,,

  • richard.lemmer1 - 2012-11-16 22:32

    Olifant seems quite appropriate it seems ................

  • lacrimose.wolf - 2012-11-16 23:32

    The minimums were set in February 2012. I cannot recall any invitations for comment. Nor can I recall any happy/unhappiness expressed by The Alliance at the time - ANC, SACP and COSATU - who are the ones who set the minimum wage in the 1st place.

  • Karabo Phetoane - 2012-11-17 00:27

    Negativity and stupidity wont yield any result,the Minister is calling for comments and these Mr and Miss white know it all are already presuming the results.If you don't want to put in your comment,just shut your mouth up and leave those who want to do so with peace.

  • yolanda.bezuidenhoutfraser - 2012-11-17 08:13

    At R150 a day, the following must be part of the result. No farmworker will stay on the farm anymore. Thus no more free housing, free water and free electricity. If other industry workers must live on a R100 a day and still stay in townships and pay for electricity, these farmworkers must aswell. No more food for free to them. If they want to demand they must experience the full impact of life as the rest of SA does. No more protective living on a farmers farm. They will need to pay a buss ticket like the rest of south africa. They must accept the whole package. They can not be spoiled and bee selective on what benefits they want and don't want. Now they need to live like the rest.

  • altus.kirsten - 2012-11-17 09:12

    Farmers will sell and disinvest in other African countries or take early retirement. Say hello to more unemployment and loss of expertise in agriculture! I would like to see the ANC and Cosatu farm economically for 12 months. Would run the farm down into the ground in 6 months.

  • Montagnes.Bleues - 2012-11-17 09:37

    These following "Dichaba ANC BEE NYDA Limpopo/Northern Cape" levels of remuneration should be adequate as starters for the farmworkers, yes?

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