AHi warns of job losses due to strikes

2012-12-03 12:30

Cape Town - Many farmers are already paying much higher wages to farmworkers and are committed to improve living circumstances on farms for farmworkers, the multi-sectoral business organisation AHi said on Monday.

The Afrikaanse Handelsinstituut (AHi), one of four major chamber organisations in South Africa, said any strike now is therefore unnecessary and will not solve the grievances of farmworkers, but will in effect worsen it.

AHi CEO Christo van der Rheede called upon both farmer and farmworker representatives to continue engaging each other in a construtive manner to resolve the labour crisis on farms in the Western Cape.

The AHi said the economy is under severe strain and "we cannot allow this situation to deteriorate due to strikes".

The AHi cited among other factor the disappointing third quarter GDP rates as an indicator of serious economic problems in the forseeable future.

"The slowdown in economic growth is not only due to the local labour unrest, but is also a reflection of our weakening export markets in the euro zone and China.

"Indications are that the economy may show negative growth in the fourth quarter due to the continuing problems in the mining and agricultural sectors, which can lead to a slowdown to even less than 2.5%," said Ulrich Joubert, independent economist and member of the AHi's National Council.

The AHi warned that this may lead to further job losses and the resultant lower levels of disposable income in the rest of the year and in 2013.

"This weakening tendency in the economy points to the fact that interest rates cannot be increased in the coming year – even if the inflation rate should rise above the 6% targeted by the authorities," cautioned Joubert.

The AHi said it is concerned about the possible large scale mechanisation of farming practices in order to reduce input cost, such as labour costs.

"This will lead to large scale job losses amongst farm workers," warned Van der Rheede.

  • Peter Zylstra - 2012-12-03 12:52

    This is a anc ploy to make the W Cape ungovernable and has nothing to do with the wage issue!

  • george.larkins.14 - 2012-12-03 12:53

    You can only pay people according to the value they add to your business.In South Africa the majority of the workforce are UNPRODUCTIVE.Therefor they join unions to protect them from getting fired.The result is a workforce with no PRIDE,COMMITMENT,LOYALTY and RESPECT to their Employers.CONCLUSION:Employ people that WANT to work for whatever pay.The pay will automaticly increase once these workers proved themselves by being PRODUCTIVE,LOYAL,COMMITTED and RESPECTFULL.CAN NOT Employ people who wants to brake down everything,FIRE THEM.

  • jack.milano.104 - 2012-12-03 13:09

    Google "Tony Ehrenreich incites violence" and click on images. I love the picture of him with his bottle of tassies.

  • obadia.segwape - 2012-12-03 13:11

    if the employer paid workers well giving giving workers increments properly and yearly and not waiting for strikes none of this was gona happen

  • maureen.churchill.9 - 2012-12-03 13:13

    I absolutely agree with Peter Zylstra that its political, thousands are going to be jobless while the unions turn their backs on the jobless and head back to their plush offices. Wake up workers you are merely pawns. The economy is grinding to a halt and it will take years to get it back to where it was 6 months ago and that wasn't so wonderful.

  • fazlurahman.ahmed - 2012-12-03 13:43

    I say the farm owners must be audited to see how much more they can afford to pay the workers. If you look at their lifestyle then it sure looks like they wont miss a few rands and it wont hurt any ecconomy. It all comes down to greed and power.

  • Arno Lotz - 2012-12-03 14:23

    ag ou Ahmed,jou just knows F...all about farming,so sell your samoosas and shut up.

      fazlurahman.ahmed - 2012-12-04 06:47

      Arno, yes I dont know about farming but I do know about business. This farmers have been exploiting the workers for generations and keeping them at a very low level so they and their famillies can live it up in Cape Town and the rest of the world. So get angry Arno because you know its the truth and it hurts. I'm happy with what I got even if it means selling "samoosas".

      blackbeard.reyneke - 2012-12-04 07:25

      Its very easy to say pay them more, but you must remember if there are 150 workers, just R10 increase is equal to R1500 per day, R7500 per week, R30 000 per month? So what will happen? Sure we will pay you R150 per day, the 15 of you we can afford to pay, and the rest will be left without work. Do you want R70 per day or nothing?

      johann.dutoit.355 - 2012-12-05 15:37

      Yeh, some people have no idea about the running costs of a farm. the huge amounts that needs to be put back into the land for next years crop, the cost of maintaning machines, pumps, fences etc etc, the risk of having a bad year or two or 5 in a row.. The fact that one harvest needs to carry that whole farm for a year, sometimes up to 3 years if the weather does not play along.. seriously.. do some homework...

  • willemien.meadon - 2012-12-03 15:30

    Are their any brain sapacity out their??? Work is equal to money. Now work no mon...I feel it! I am self employed, can NOT book in for sick leave due to DAD was deiying...I worked and cried...poor brein washed, not be able to think ahead...

  • richardnealejohn.underwood - 2013-01-07 19:39

    I am an employer of farm labourers , We have no say in the matter the government laid down a minimum wage some years ago which doubled the existing one , I was then unable to pay all that so there were retrenchments and short weeks with lower pay to try to get by. At present the laid down pay is R70 a day in my area ,my staff are happy with it. So please dont come with your damned unintelligent ANC remarks about the farmers , what we pay is what the ANC laid down .These strikers should be arrested protesting at the farms ,they must go protest at the government. They must do away with laid down minimum salary, the labour pay stabilizes because if one does not pay enough he wont get workers and so on . So Obediah Segwape what you say should be done by the farmers IS done by them .....NOW YOU SEE WHAT WE CONTEND WITH,huh ?

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