Oliphant 'must intervene' in De Doorns

2012-11-09 17:00

Johannesburg - Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant must intervene in a farm labour dispute in De Doorns, in the Western Cape, the Federation of Unions of SA (Fedusa) said on Friday.

Fedusa would ask Oliphant to look into the legislation on wages and conditions of employment for farm workers, its general secretary for operations Gretchen Humphries said in a statement.

Farm workers in the area began protesting on Monday, demanding wages of R150 a day, improved living conditions, electricity, and an end to illegal evictions, illegal immigrant workers, and labour brokers.

Police said the situation in De Doorns was "very quiet" on Friday.

Earlier in the week, protests resulted in vineyards being burnt, a number of arrests, and the closure of the N1 between Touws River and De Doorns.

"Fedusa is seriously concerned about the loss of investment, due to the area being an export processing zone, where table grapes are produced predominantly for the export market," Humphries said.

Fedusa believed there were political interests behind the workers' protests.

On Thursday, Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille was heckled by supporters of expelled ANC Youth League president Julius Malema while visiting the area.

Earlier on Friday, Agri-Wes Cape said employers' representatives had been threatened by union representatives during wage dispute talks for the De Doorns grape harvesters.

"They were busy with discussions and left for a break. Something must have happened during the break, because when union representatives came back, they made threats," said spokesperson Porchia Adams.

She said the representatives' lives and safety were threatened.

The threats had been reported to police and it was expected that a case would be opened.

"We take this in a very serious light," Adams said.

Despite the threats, representatives had decided to return to the talks in the interests of finding a solution, she said.

  • lvhukeya1 - 2012-11-09 17:11

    i think dat dpt of labour must be scraped nd replaced with something dat can bite. dat dpt is an elephant without a horns.

      DuToitCoetzee - 2012-11-09 18:25

      With out tusks you have mend? Another example: Like learners without books.

      anakin.skyvader.9 - 2012-11-09 18:53

      dat what??

  • nettie.potgieter.5 - 2012-11-09 17:21

    How can Oliphant intervene, as it is the ANC Cosato and all their parners in crime organising this protest. They said they want the WC back by hook or by crook! They will kiel for it.

  • - 2012-11-09 17:50

    Fire the whole lot and get people that want to work.

  • alaina.robbertse - 2012-11-09 18:34

    Oliphant is too scared.Zille had the guts to go there but we won;t Oliphant there.Hahahahaha

  • anakin.skyvader.9 - 2012-11-09 19:07

    The sinister "break burn and WE DEMAND" brigade is at it again. We would just really like to know where the organizers of these protests come from and what their real goal is - they hide behind the smoke and mirrors. As if the whole thing is not already "weird enough" here comes Fedusa to the rescue. These protests are 10% about the people and 90% about cloak and dagger politics. It's time to grab the instigators behind these protests and hold them accountable for playing with people's livelihoods.

  • robert.dood.1 - 2012-11-09 19:07

    The old story.. Under the new regime anything that works well has to be interfered with and then gets destroyed

  • johan.vanheerden.12 - 2012-11-09 19:20

    This is what ANC wants. Now that Malema supporters pop up its clear what the ancyl is trying to do. Problem is Limpopo IQ doesn't tell them even if they get R1000 a day, for the next few years there is nothing to harvest what they burnt down:NO WORK. Then they protest because white man didn't provide work. AIDS really must up the pace now

  • marlene.watson - 2012-11-09 19:41

    Why don't farmers strike for less taxes and better prices for their products? Because they know that if they do, their workers won't have work and our country won't have food and they actually care about both.

  • FinalJustice - 2012-11-09 20:04

    We'll just have to see until the Chinese come and take over this God-forsaken continent. They simply won't take this cr@p! They'll just send in the bulldozers and level all the squatters' camps. Not in our lifetime, probably, but within the next 100years or so - definitely.

  • Strikeback - 2012-11-09 23:31

    It is clear from most comments here that people always want more money and that this seems to be justified by higher cost of living. What people forget is that input costs have increased tremendously and this was caused by higher energy costs, such as feul and electricity. Farmers, like any other business people need to make profits to keep the farms operational. If the farmer earns the same as the workers, no one will continue farming. What also confuse me is this - if everybody agrees with the unions and strikers, why does intimmidation and violence nescessary? Clearly unions "force" people to agree with their assumptions. Time to rid out workforce of people who manipulate others by force.

  • emilyjane.elson - 2012-11-10 08:02

    That expression does not give me the impression she has a clue, at all. I seriously don't think this woman knows what's going on. If she knew her job and was any good or dedicated to it, she would've stepped in long ago before being told what to do.. No hope

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