Dept provides aid for Cape farmworkers

2012-12-12 18:53

Johannesburg - Western Cape farmworkers received food and other aid after calls by Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson, her office said on Wednesday.

Farm workers in the province were without food as they had not been paid due to the strike, Pettersson's spokesperson Palesa Mokomele said in a statement.

"There has been an awakening by retailers, including Tiger Brands, Food Bank SA, and Hortgro to bring hope to the thousands of farmworkers who would otherwise face a bleak Christmas."

Table grape harvesters started protesting in De Doorns at the start of November for R150 per day and improved living conditions.

Most earned between R69 and R75 a day. The protests soon spread to 15 other towns, leading to violence and two deaths, before the strike ended on 4 December.

The department had made money available for basic food and the services of a logistics company to manage the delivery of food and aid.

Families receiving donations would be allocated a coupon with an identification number, which allowed the logistics company to keep track of who has received what aid package.

"Each package includes basic foodstuffs, like maize meal, rice, flour, sugar, cooking oil, and other goods," said Mokomele.

"The intention of this intervention is to spread the social relief to areas that were affected by the protests."

The department called on the public to extend themselves this Christmas and beyond by donating food, aid, and back-to-school goods, such as books and stationary.

Goods can be dropped at the Food Bank SA warehouse in Epping, Cape Town, between 08:30 and 15:30 Monday to Friday.

  • Mary Milne Archibald - 2012-12-12 19:15

    For all the money gathered by Cosatu as membership fees the Union should be supporting the workers that obeyed the call to strike.

  • Mandy Casey - 2012-12-12 19:17

    Tina Joe ma

  • jason.davidson.144 - 2012-12-12 19:19

    NO work = NO pay = NO food .. understand now?

      christelle.theron.3 - 2012-12-12 19:27

      Nope - but that does not matter does it. ANC is desperate to make inroads in the Cape!

  • Mandy Casey - 2012-12-12 19:20

    Tina Joe ma

  • TSR01 - 2012-12-12 19:24

    What about the workers who burned the vineyards down? Are they also getting food hampers? Don't reward bad behavior. It would send the very wrong message to everyone.

      christelle.theron.3 - 2012-12-12 19:29

      As long as it was lawless behaviour, and not illegal, she appears to be fine with it. The woman is clueless. Oh, and MR, this is not the name you saw on the DA page when you and I got rebuked:-)

      TSR01 - 2012-12-13 00:17

      Oh, hi! Yes, though as I mentioned in that case, the moderators seemed to be rather inactive. (which resulted in a frustrating encounter with a generally nasty individual, but oh well!) Would be good to hear if any of the culprits got arrested for burning down the crops (imagine how much good fresh food was destroyed by the fires..).

  • melanie.booysen - 2012-12-12 19:24

    What???? So what government is saying.......strike, you will not get paid but we will look after are creating a situation you will not be able to control.

      Desilusionada - 2012-12-12 19:49

      Strike and the private sector will look after you. Tiger Brands, Food Bank SA, and Hortgro. She (the government) said its OK and then she calls the private sector to help. Proves the Government/ANC is happy about the strike. Next they will be blaming Zille and the DA for Marikana. And for Samora Machel's plane going down........

  • grant.montgomery.5074 - 2012-12-12 19:24

    The workers should have thought about the repocussions before they went on strike. I believe Joemat-Petterson is sending out the wrong signal to the workers : they can go on strike for a month and the government will provide food and stationary for their kids. Beats working for a living.

  • roelf.strydom - 2012-12-12 19:33

    Will the government now also help the farmers who had their property and crops damaged?

      avril.powrie - 2012-12-12 20:07

      Tina, so you are offering mielie meal, rice & cooking oil to the rioters. Something else we tax payers have to pay for. Nice one, while you eat your fillet steak and sip your champagne and have a good Christmas. I bet you won't think of the vineyards & packsheds destroyed. Come January there will be job losses, laid squarely at your doorstep. But you won't care will you, just blame it on the boere. When food prices start rising, what then, will you ask the stikers to eat cake? Like Marie-Antoinette, your head will be rolling soon.

  • themba.thwala.775 - 2012-12-12 19:34

    Retarded, dyslexic big spending Tiena

  • fanie.essgee - 2012-12-12 19:35

    This is just beyond me, they go on a rampage, they destroy property, they maim and kill people, and we feel sorry for them as they did not get paid for a strike that was invoked by the ruling party, surely i am reading this wrong, they knew the consequances of their actions, now they are once again rewarded for it... This Government is a circus and a joke, yet no-one can laugh anymore...

  • michael.i.wright - 2012-12-12 19:36

    So, the ANC is thus supporting elements who wish to bring the Western Cape down?

  • cheslin.white.7 - 2012-12-12 19:36

    What a disgraceful and pathetic response. Joemat and Oliphant should be shown the door. Goverment signed off on the current minimum wage for the farmworkers and now they want to put the proverbial plaster on a broken arm. Premier Zille did the right thing by forcing the hand of national govt by insisting that Oliphant intervene. What an utterly inept response though.

  • christina.lovell.773 - 2012-12-12 19:50

    Hahaha toe vang slim sy baas!!

  • Charles Frederik Robberts - 2012-12-12 19:52

    Who gave her permission to use OUR taxes? Again she is openly supporting the workers and not the farmers whom she is paid to look after!

      michael.kleber.376 - 2012-12-12 20:01

      Buying votes with food with money collected from the farmers (tax)

      florence.clarke.92 - 2012-12-12 20:46

      She is a minister and does not need permission. She does not care about the tax payers. She is out of her depth.

      nic.nomicos.3 - 2012-12-12 22:41's nice in the sun...when you have worked for it have a break and a Bells...

  • shane.asselbergs - 2012-12-12 19:58

    Wasn't it an illegal strike? Didn't the cause damage to property?

  • lungile.manjiya - 2012-12-12 20:04

    Government is only good at providing food for a problem that was long overdue...the solution is to make their living conditions better,is not what they,ve been promised...better lives for all

  • clive.prince.14 - 2012-12-12 20:05

    I smell a rat ,this was an ANC instigated strike to destablise the W Cape.Have we ever seen food parcels given to striking miners and truck drivers- DO NOT TRUST PETTERSSON.!!!

      florence.clarke.92 - 2012-12-12 20:47

      Makes 2 of us

  • theMichaelHawthorne - 2012-12-12 20:12

    What about the rest of the country?

  • Montagnes.Bleues - 2012-12-12 20:13

    What the hell, THAT is precisely what the union takes fees for - to make up the pay shortfall of their members when they have orchestrated strike action. IT IS NOT RIGHT TO TAKE PUBLIC TAX PAYERS FUNDS FOR THIS PURPOSE - no matter how unpleasant the situation is for them. They need to break down your doors and burn your offices to get the laws YOU have passed changed urgently, and then break down and burn the unions doors and offices for their money due to them.

      khethu.ndlovu.3 - 2012-12-12 20:22

      The unions are just suckers and blubbers, they are so helpless when coming to help workers.

  • luviwe.jay - 2012-12-12 20:19

    Blatant misuse of taxpayer's money to buy votes. Cosatu encourage farmworkers to strke for a wage agreement they were part of knowing very well that nothing is going to change. Suffering of the people is abused, trust me that food is for one and a half weeks. I'm speechless.

  • Donkervlie - 2012-12-12 20:25

    Figures quoted by News 24 dont tally with what the farmers or the government released on the total package of what the farmworkers are earning. Will the editor please ask his cadres to report more accurately this report stops short of creating misconceptions or is that the mandate of your News 24

  • Dereck - 2012-12-12 20:27

    Just in time for re-election

  • mpolaene - 2012-12-12 20:35

    Guys this ppl they are playing with us.what about other province.we dont have 2 province .we have 9 province.

  • florence.clarke.92 - 2012-12-12 20:42

    It is not the goverment providing. As usual the private sector is expected to provide

  • rofhiwa.ronald.1 - 2012-12-12 20:45


  • pieriewaaier.zooms - 2012-12-12 20:46

    @ NEWS24: I see my comment has been deleted. Do you in any way encourage free speech and the free expression of opposing views? Do you encourage robust debate or not? Or are you just another apparatchik in the ANC/SACP domain? Who are your politically correct editorial police? You claim the freedom to publish stories about the Spear of the Nation paintings under the banner of freedom of speech yet you do not offer the same prerogative to your readers? What a huge disappointment and let down!

  • Neil Alberts - 2012-12-12 21:11

    so the minister supports the criminal acts of these people??? watch out, they will bite the hand that feeds them!!!

  • naegeli1 - 2012-12-12 21:55

    Puppetmasters, pulling all the strings to get what you want even if you have to support illegal activities , Unions and ANC

  • Suzanne Viljoen - 2012-12-12 22:18

    Shame ssmonareng. Lets call you sad sack or sad Jack. Get off your butt, leave your greasy keyboard and go give them food. SO DARN SAD

  • andrew.mackie.90 - 2012-12-13 06:28

    The department made money available!! Did this money come from the Ministers own funds or that of taxpayers? While I have sympathy for the strikers families I question the right to use public funds to benefit illegal strikers. Again this minister has proved to be flea brained and used taxpayer money to benefit her image.

  • standuhar - 2012-12-13 10:29

    WHY? Taxpayers money used to feed vandals and arsonists. And then you ask me to donate food as well? The sooner they die of hunger, the better.

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