Union wants 'thorough' probe after woman killed in crash, farmworkers flung off back of truck

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A woman died, and at least 13 people were injured, when the open truck they were travelling on crashed near Worcester.
A woman died, and at least 13 people were injured, when the open truck they were travelling on crashed near Worcester.
  • The Agricultural, Food, Fishing and Retail Industry Workers' Union wants a "thorough" investigation into an accident involving a truck, which led to the death of one farmworker and left 13 injured.
  • The incident happened near Worcester in the Western Cape.
  • The Western Cape Department of Transport said the accident was due to heavy rain and that the driver lost control. 


The Agricultural, Food, Fishing and Retail Industry Workers' Union (Afriwu) has called for a "thorough but swift" probe into a crash involving a truck that was transporting 37 farmworkers on Monday.

According to ANC member of the provincial legislature, Pat Marran, the farmworkers were being transported on the back of the 40-ton truck when the accident occurred between Worcester and De Doorns, News24 previously reported.

Western Cape Department of Transport spokesperson Jandre Bakker said one woman died in the accident. Thirteen people were injured.

In a statement, Afriwu general-secretary Gafieldien Benjamin said the union was "disgusted" that farmers were still allowed to transport workers on open trucks without any safety measures in place to protect them. 

"We have seen over the years how farmworkers are killed whilst being transported on open trucks as a result of either unsafe transit measures or reckless truck drivers," Benjamin said. 

READ | Five Free State farmers convicted for beating to death two farm workers

The union has called on the government to "enact legislation that will afford farmworkers the same protections as other ordinary passengers enjoy". 

"We need to show that the lives of farmworkers are valued equally as any other person entering any vehicle. Our government must now show their commitment to farmworkers and [the] protection of the poor and vulnerable," he said.

He also urged the DA in the Western Cape to support the families of the deceased and injured.

"We further urge them not to oppose any initiatives that will offer protection for farmworkers in general," Benjamin added.

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