De Doorns under siege

2013-01-17 16:29

Cape Town - Thousands of striking farmworkers marched along the N1 highway in De Doorns on Thursday afternoon, the Black Association of the Wine and Spirit Industry (Bawsi) said.

They were visiting farms along the way to pick up more supporters.

"I'm leading the march and there are thousands of us here being led by Nyalas [armoured police vans]. I am sure the whole country's police are here," said Bawsi president Nosey Pieterse.

"We are peacefully demonstrating to everybody that this thing [the strike] is not going to go away. It's an emphatic message that the strike is alive."

Marchers were stopping at every farm to hand farmers a memorandum in which they demanded, among other things, an increase in their daily wage to R150.

Pieterse said the march and farm visits were not meant to provoke farmers.

Workers marched about 10km in scorching heat; the SA Weather Service predicted a temperature of 35 degrees Celsius. They planned to stop the march at the Hex River High School.

Western Cape police spokesperson Andre Traut said police were keeping watch and no violence had yet been reported.

Farmworkers went on strike last year for a higher daily wage and the implementation of a coherent land reform programme.

The strike was suspended in December, but resumed last Wednesday in various towns in the province.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) announced a week-long suspension of the strike on Tuesday, on condition that Agri SA honour commitments to "local-level" agreements and agree to stop the victimisation of workers.

Cosatu's Western Cape secretary Tony Ehrenreich said the suspension excluded De Doorns, because workers there were standing by their demand for R150, and were not open to negotiation.

Ehrenreich and agriculture MEC Gerrit van Rensburg said a large number of farmworkers were back at work in many rural towns on Thursday.

At least 180 people have been arrested in connection with the protests since last Wednesday, mostly for public violence.

The Freedom Front Plus and the Transvaal Agricultural Union (Tau-SA), both condemned a comment Ehrenreich apparently made during a briefing about the suspension of the strike on Wednesday.

On Thursday, the Beeld newspaper reported him as saying: "The land war will be coming soon."

FF Plus spokesperson Pieter Groenewald said comments such as this bordered on hate speech and encouraged violence.

"Responsible government demands that president Jacob Zuma and his ministers of land reform and agriculture should intervene and repudiate Ehrenreich," he said.

In a statement, Tau-SA said it was clear the country needed to prepare itself for "large-scale trouble countrywide".

"The ANC and its allies need to give the citizens of South Africa a clear answer on what their ultimate goal regarding food production on available agricultural land in South Africa is," said Tau-SA president Louis Meintjies.

"Tony Ehrenreich and his friends should walk the talk by not eating food produced locally by South African farmers, in preference to imported food."

Ehrenreich was not immediately available to respond.

  • annelise.venter.77 - 2013-01-17 16:34

    Didn't dear uncle Tony Erenreich say the strike was over? So again he proves his big mouth and lack of control!

      jj.terblanche - 2013-01-17 16:48

      So true about lack of control, not only Tony but the entire government. As for: "large-scale trouble countrywide", I think these people should be held accountable for the fast demise they are bringing over SA as a whole.

      angela.nair.3 - 2013-01-17 16:50

      Aaargh and they march in their thousands! Marching onto looting and burning - this is anarchy! Tony "Third Reich" is a liar - they have created this monster and now they cannot control it. Ehrenreich should be charged for inciting violence and anarchy - enough is enough! How and what are the farmers to do protect themselves from these vicious savage thugs - I hope there is enough police lining the streets to keep them contained - They must be stopped!

      lownabester - 2013-01-17 16:51

      Lead by Nosey, what a name, These people will never listen.

  • mike.bester1 - 2013-01-17 16:48

    Stand them in a row and let them go , nobody is forcing them to work there , sure there are many other unemployed that will be to glad for the job. Maybe the job must be given to Johan Deer ?

      lawrence.brown.5243817 - 2013-01-17 17:08

      Mike, judging by the numbers in that picture, the farmers will be through next season before getting through 121 questioning LOL! Can we honestly believe that that mass of people are all employed in the DeDoorns agricultural sector? Offer to the unemployed, position includes basic salary, housing, transport, meals and a pleasant work environment outdoors....oh, and a papsak per weekend.

      Ivan Waga Ratau - 2013-01-17 17:16

      there is no other way farmers must just pay no excuses. stop blaming the anc @ all times. can you work for that kind of money in this day of age. they will and they must

  • jaco.skalkwyk.3 - 2013-01-17 16:54

    In politics, the party with the most hate will always be on top. ANC has proven this with their blatant disregard for the law, the constitution they implemented. Unfortunately there are a handful of individuals that’s milking the country, and to maintain this, they need support. They use uneducated voters to prosper their own pockets & ideals. Poor voters end up worse than they were before, something the anc has proven in the last 20 years.

  • NhloniphoNkosi - 2013-01-17 16:56

    These farmers must just pay, no excuses they are rich from these people's labour. I don't care what the minimum rate is R60 a day is inhumane, say whatever you like but I stand by the workers.

      HappyAgnostic - 2013-01-17 17:08

      Eish, famahs must jess pay! Eish! Pay, pay, pay!

      nettie.potgieter.5 - 2013-01-17 17:34

      Nkosi you are confusing me, first in was R80 per day then R70 now R60 but one thing is sure I the farmers can not sell their crop, next year their pay will be R0 per day.

  • skiapas - 2013-01-17 16:58


      thitos - 2013-01-17 17:35

      Really? Did you just say that? In all caps nogal!!!

      fly.onthewall.54 - 2013-01-18 08:58

      Skiapas, that's exactly the problem. All the foreigners are working and the SA's are striking because they want those jobs.

  • hudayfah.newman - 2013-01-17 17:03

    I'm leading the march just in case no one knew. Its me, leading the march. Please know that.

  • nsovo.nkuna.56 - 2013-01-17 17:14

    Give them money. Finish and klaar

      lionel.hartman.1 - 2013-01-18 08:10

      In Zim they got so much money they had to use a wheelbarrow to carry it, the only problem is that the price of a loaf of bread went up yo a billion dollars.

  • Rooinek007 - 2013-01-17 17:16

    What else do the farm workers get as payment? Dont they also get housing from the farmers as payment for working the land? Do these farm workers pay for electricity and water? What about the farm schools that the workers dont pay for? Do they pay the price for food that we do in the city? Why doesn't the media also report on those things they get as payment? Instead of painting an incorrect picture by only stating the amount of money they get paid? Thats like lying by omitting information.

      lizonia.stellenberg - 2013-01-17 18:03

      I agree with you on this one,because they get a lot of extras per month which everyone conveniently fail to mention.If they give them the 150 than they should pay school fees etc like the rest of the factory workers in town who must still ensure they have traveling fare to and from work.They get everything for free.As if the farms only exist in the western cape.there farms in this country where people earn the same or less but nothing is happening in that provinces

  • mmangaliso - 2013-01-17 17:19

    Repost: Months from now the ANC will also be 'shocked' when 14 000 farmers lose their jobs because they wanted insane hikes that makes farms unprofitable and the government failed to do their job, as per usual

  • mmangaliso - 2013-01-17 17:20

    Repost: Months from now the ANC will also be 'shocked' when 14 000 farmers lose their jobs because they wanted insane hikes that makes farms unprofitable and the government failed to do their job, as per usual

  • magomarele - 2013-01-17 17:20

    These people are tough nuts ne! How can one walk 10km under 35degree heat? They need cold shower on arrival. I only did that during apartheid...without a choice of course.

  • TheVern69 - 2013-01-17 17:20

    If its war you want,its war you'll get! You say its going to be large-scale,good,bring it! Won't use rubber bullets against your pangas though oe eh eh

  • eugene.muller.7 - 2013-01-17 17:23 in the ointment. Another Malema in the making...he for the farms, Malema for the mines. Amplats up for Nationalizations they scream already...

  • mafa.smith.9 - 2013-01-17 17:49

    farmers are pleading poverty yet they continue business as usual,is there profit in this industry? And if there is, why not share it with people who work so hard to put it on table, they may not be learned,but i dont think their level of education justify that they be exploited

  • Glen.E.Huysamer - 2013-01-17 18:31

    And Casatu and the ANC thought they were in charge of the strike, these fat lazy sell outs do not even know what is going on, once again there are new unions on the block, proving that the ANC/Casatu and Alliance are useless.

  • edward.tillett.98 - 2013-01-17 18:35

    I think the farmworkers are being led by the Nose(y)

  • Desperate.Dan61 - 2013-01-17 18:43

    The KZN Traffic department should employ Cape Farm workers if they walked 10km in 35 Degree heat. The Applicants in KZN walked 5 Km in less heat and 7 died. Granted if they were the shape of most existing Traffic officers that was probably the reason. Some are heart attacks waiting to happen if they break into a shuffle.

  • nelia.liebenberg.1 - 2013-01-17 20:22

    "walk & talk by not eating food produced locally by South African farmers." What is this idiot thinking?? The guy who supports his family not only by wages, but also housing is now the devil in disguise. Hell! with s---- for brains, what can you say??

  • fernando.fredericks - 2013-01-17 22:26

    Tony is a pshycopath..... He is hillarious.... This guy is a joke.... Why not let the people fight their own battle

  • thaluki.malema - 2013-01-18 06:25

    Any increase settled on should NOT BE PAID IN CASH. It should be in the form of food & crocery vouchers. Cash will just be exchanged for liquor.

  • altus.kirsten - 2013-01-18 06:36

    There's a saying: 'Give a man enough rope and he'll hang himself.' Watch this space Tony and Nosey.

  • luna.moon.5243817 - 2013-01-18 07:48

    we all know the real goal of this strike,,taking over farms Zimbabwian style

  • - 2013-01-18 08:17

    Ag nee my magtig dit raak nou belaglik. Oral gaan dinge weer aan, maar in De Doorns kan niemand niks uitgesorteer kry nie?!!

  • terence.wessels - 2013-01-18 09:10

    Easy solution. Shutdown like the mines. Let's see the attitude change when there are no more jobs. Ask the Rustenburg 14000 if they are sorry? Don't you idiots learn? SA is burning, we in for a very rough time due to unemployable workers, greedy and self serving unions, and a totally useless and corrupt ANC led government. Lord have mercy on us.

  • erica.scheepers.9 - 2013-01-18 09:14

    En so sal die stakings voortduur , die myn bedryf maak toe , en die nou strike hulle daar oor , wat as die Boere besluit ok ons het nou genoeg gehad van al die strike en jaag almal weg en begin oor , dan gaan hulle weer daar ook wil strike , pleks hulle dankbaar is vir werk , duisende sit sonder werk . Hou so aan hierdie land stuur af op anargie soos ons nog nooit gesien het nie . Mense gaan vlug vir hulle lewens as dit gebeur. Die Suidlanders het dit lankal voorspel , word wakker en besef ons land is een groot gemors , die regering voel niks vir hulle mense nie , hulle leef in weelde en hits die massas aan teen ons . pleks die massas hulle vir 'n slag storm loop en eis dat die belasting geld gebruik word vir die doel waarvoor dit moet wees en nie vir hulle weelde nie

  • flysouth - 2013-01-18 11:46

    This person Nosey Pieterse needs a closer look if people want t0 understand the situation - there is much more to all this than meets the eye! See: Quote:"A former unionist, who spoke to the Daily Maverick on condition of anonymity, said of Pieterse: “He is words like ‘opportunism’, ‘charlatan’ and ‘Stalinism’ made flesh”."

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