Farmworkers defy government, Cosatu

2012-11-15 11:53

Wolseley - Striking South African farmworkers defied a government call to return to work on Thursday, with labourers demanding action against a police captain over the death of one of their colleagues during clashes.

Workers in the Western Cape town of Wolseley - earlier the scene of deadly violence - marched through the town early on Thursday, chanting and singing, despite government announcements that the strike had been suspended.

The government and Cosatu had earlier announced that workers would freeze the strike for two weeks while the sector's R70 minimum wage is reviewed.

But protesters have insisted they will not return to the fruit-growing region's farms until they receive a daily wage of at least R150.

"It's not over for us. We are continuing no matter what. We are going forward no matter what," said 19-year-old seasonal fruit farm worker Mandla Betshe.

"It's just a wish for them (for it) to be over."

"The strike is not finished," insisted Pieter Opperman, 38, who earns R80 a day.

"If we get that settlement of R150, I will go back to work with all my heart. Because then I know I can put food on the table for my family and I can sort myself out."

The scene early Thursday was tense, with a heavy police presence.

A worker delegation handed a list of demands to police including the suspension of the local police captain, after a 28-year-old man was killed in clashes.

"The most important thing is... who gave the order to shoot. Obviously someone has to take a responsibility," said Lamie Mqungquthu, part of the worker delegation.

"Our aim today is to make peace with the police, they must leave the people because all of us have a right" to protest, he said.

Police described the situation as "volatile", with disturbances in the towns of De Doorns, Ceres and Swellendam.

"Police officers are deployed at all affected areas to maintain law and order, and to protect the public," said Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut of the Western Cape police.

  • annelise.venter.77 - 2012-11-15 12:02

    Our government has no control over anything. They will make new promises (which they never keep)and vilify the farmers and make it a racial issue.

      braam.groenewald.39 - 2012-11-15 12:21

      funny how they dont report that housing, transport and school(education) for their children is provided for by farmers. I hope the farmers will learn from this and make use of more technology and less labour. mechines will never go on strike and bite the hand that is feeding them.

      david.lebethe - 2012-11-15 12:40

      I suppose the hand that feeds them is also conscious of other organs, which make it possible to function as so are machines that have to be installed?

      alan.gernet - 2012-11-15 12:49


      braam.groenewald.39 - 2012-11-15 12:50

      david if one tracter with 2 labourours can do the work of 4 horses and 4 labourours, doesnt that mean your using less manual labour? or would you like me to draw you a picture

      alan.gernet - 2012-11-15 13:05

      eish - Deere John

  • Carlton - 2012-11-15 12:03

    Haha the anc started it to discredit the da now they cant stop it. I feel for the farmers though

  • richard.hipkin - 2012-11-15 12:04

    If you ate today, thank a farmer..

  • jonas.mokatane - 2012-11-15 12:04

    This is slavery at its best,how much money do these fat making out these poor peopl?.I think their union has sold them.

      acm.munro - 2012-11-15 12:11

      Somebody is making mischief in the background. I cannot see how all the farmworkers all over the place suddenly starts causing havoc. The minimum wage has been in place for some time without any problems as farmworkers receive additional benefits. Only a small percentage of farmers are treating their workers like slaves

      richard.hipkin - 2012-11-15 12:11

      jonas, stop and think for just one minute. You must also remember that emerging black farmers and small scale farmers also now have to fork out R150 a day. This for them is the end of the road, they cannot afford this and so will have to downscale on employment, thus MORE people will be unemployed as a result. Just think about, go sit in a corner and debate from both sides..

      gordon.turner.37 - 2012-11-15 12:15

      Jonas - please look at the state of farms in SA. Wine farms are border line at the best of times and you seem to get confused between rich bankers buying fancy farms and those eeking out an existence. Farmer workers do need to get paid better, but many are better paid than you think.

      silvia.vaneck2 - 2012-11-15 12:35

      Jonas, It is not the farmers that make the biggest profit!! It is the middle men and the government from the taxes!! If you farm you do it for the love of farming and not to get rich. Most farmers are living from year to year. I even know some farmers in the very area where they are striking that have given up because the co-op work on a quota system and won't pay the farmers fairly for produce delivered PLUS they limit the tonnage per farm. At the end of the day these farmers stop farming because it costs more than they get from the produce!! Or they try and sell it themselves.

      alan.gernet - 2012-11-15 12:51

      actually - the farming community only makes a minimal profit if everything goes well. Mechanization is the only way forward for farming to keep going.

      acm.munro - 2012-11-15 13:10

      A further thought on this matter. If it wasnt for commercial farmers, we would not have fresh produce on the shop shelves, and this will touch not just the richest of the rich, but also the poorest of the poor.

      joyce.beeton - 2012-11-15 13:14

      slaves never got paid, besides the whole truth is not being told here, they are given accommodation, the farms have schools where their children are educated and they would be a lot worse off without the farmers.

      dirk.bigman - 2012-11-15 13:16

      Sir, pls let me educate you. This is accounting Grade 3 which is basically common sense which you seem to lack. January - Farm Expenses = Wages R 30 000, Electricty = R 20 000, Interest = R 40 000, Diesel = R 10 000, Irrigation = R 15 000, Pesticide = R 8 000, other = R 25 000 Total Expenses = 148 000. Farmowner Income = R 0 Now the same apply for February to November thus the Farm owner has invested R 1.6 million to produce his harvest. Did he get any income or assitance from the ANC - No. Did he tell his workers to wait the full year for their paycheck as he has to do - No. No come December he sells his harvest for R 2 000 000. He makes a profit of R 400 000. He pays tax of 40% which leaves him with R 240 000. He now has this to live from for the next 12 months. He can not even balance his cash flow to pay his farm workers for the next year but still does that. The problem is that these destructive criminal elements do not understand business thus it is easy to burn, plunder and strike. If I was one of these farmers, I will put all my workers on a yearly profit share and pay them no salary during the year, give them no housing, water or electricity or loans. Pay them when I get paid and pay them well. Lets see how they manage this once of payment for the next twelve months and survive. I will bet you they won't have any money left within 2 months as they can not manage this. Then, will they strike again and demand more where there is nothing left - YES

      schalk.jonker.1 - 2012-11-15 13:21

      JONAS. i'll pay you R150 a day. come work for me so that i can tell you everyday what you are.

      acm.munro - 2012-11-15 13:24

      Still further on this matter: What I find very strange is that the minimum wage for farm workers applicable to the whole country. There are other farms, fruit and other fresh produce in ANC run provinces .. so why suddenly this havoc in our usually well-run DA Western Province??!!

      alan.gernet - 2012-11-15 13:27

      Gawsh ACM - you surely don't mean to imply that the strikers who were bussed in have anything to do with the ANC and the coming election do you? Surely, these moral people would never resort to dirty tactics!

  • shirley.steenkamp - 2012-11-15 12:06

    You have the right to protest but you dont have the right to cause havoc and mayhem,burning and destroying property. If you think its bad wages,try working in India in the clothing industry,cotton plantations in Africa,these workers get the equivalent of R10.00 per day if they are luck. They still keep most of their earnings-sending it home to their family. A lot of the workers live on the factory floor,without proper santitaion!

  • adriaan.pieterse - 2012-11-15 12:06

    They are right, they have a right to protest - peacefully - however you lose all rights once you burn things and throw stones. I am all for decent working wages but to react violently will solve nothing.

      alan.gernet - 2012-11-15 14:19

      Fanny Van Vuuren

  • richard.hipkin - 2012-11-15 12:08

    According to news reports the strikes are not having that much of an affect on most farms. Most farms report a 90% permanent worker attendance.. These are more seasonal workers. Apparently.

      silvia.vaneck2 - 2012-11-15 12:37

      Or perhaps bussed in ANCYL supporters?? Just a thought!!

  • Montagnes.Bleues - 2012-11-15 12:09

    FYL via mobile? Build our Future Don't see any striking rioters agitating around nkandla and this outrageous contracts yet that carry far greater significance? Mfeka & Nene contracts nkandla - AND best of all:- ZUMA EXPOSED Why are they not rioting to get the ZUMA "GO TO JAIL" TAPES? Maybe because they weren't bussed over there and given daily allowances to cause mayhem in that area. Only the "tokoloshe" joemats and sisulu's flying on their grass switchbrroms will know these things

  • botha.fourie - 2012-11-15 12:10


      adriaan.dutoit.3 - 2012-11-15 12:18

      A sophisticated and realistic approach. Thanks Botha Fourie. Your unique insight into this complex issue has opened our eyes.

      aspruyt - 2012-11-15 12:27

      adriaan.dutoit.3: KISS

      silvia.vaneck2 - 2012-11-15 12:40

      Actually Adriaan, the majority of the strikers aren't even farm workers!! They are most probably bussed in ANCYL supporters there to cause havoc!!

      flower.fourie - 2012-11-15 13:36

      Adriaan.dutoit.3 your sarcasm is making me cry from the brilliance. And you too Mthuthuzeli

  • troffel - 2012-11-15 12:14

    "Our aim today is to make peace with the police, they must leave the people because all of us have a right" to protest, he said." Peace? You can't use the word while burning down storage facilities and cars.

  • bradh.quaide - 2012-11-15 12:15

    Don't worry about who gave the order to fire, there will be a task team appointed to do an investigation about the incident and then a commission to approve the findings after which the captain will get suspended(with pay of course) pending the court case witch will be appealed, then moving to a new court, appealed, new court, appealed and eventually thrown out of court due to lack of evidence after 5 years, while the officer gets to have paid holiday the whole time, paid for by you and me, the tax payer. So rather leave it and let the captain work, having him "fired" isn't going to make the police any more competent...

  • terrylee.heuer - 2012-11-15 12:16

    \Our aim today is to make peace with the police, they must leave the people because all of us have a right\ to protest, he said....yes you do have a right, but not violently where have any of these protests been peaceful???!!!! The police have to be there to keep peace and order but obviously things ALWAYS end up violent with protestors and the police have to step in!!!stop throwing stones, burning tyres, destroying property, blocking public roads its plain hooliganism!!!

  • altus.kirsten - 2012-11-15 12:16

    What goes around comes around. The ANC government and Cosatu has made false promises again and the poor will suffer as a result. Rather have R80 per day, than nothing at all. I am a farmer and will simply cut our workforce with whatever the increase is in the minimum wage. It's as simple as that. 'n Boer maak 'n plan, die regering dink verskoning uit. Its about economics and sustainability of business.

      clive.kihn - 2012-11-15 14:17

      Dyasi, read Altus's comments again: he might end up paying R150/day, but he will do so to half the number of workers/strikers he employs now. What's so difficult to understand about this economic reality?

  • clive.kihn - 2012-11-15 12:18

    Would someone PLEASE take our so-called president by the shoulders and shake him until he wakes up. Then, explain to him slowly, and in words of one syllable, what this anarchy is doing to the country financially and socially. Then tell him that someone has to show firm leadership and, as it's clearly not within his desires or ability to do so, that he must step down in favour of a REAL leader. If nothing else, the military MUST be sent in without futher delay to keep our major highways open for business. Oh, and by the way, tell the W Cape ANC sh*t stirrers (Ehrenreich and Co) to stop making a bad situation worse. Everyone will lose out in the end. And if the not-very-sharp whining Stalinist thinks I am insulting his leader - tough takkies.

  • miandra.vanzyl - 2012-11-15 12:22

    They have just burnt down a DA coloured council member house close to Swellendam!!! Is that politics or not???

      indianajohn - 2012-11-15 12:32

      You're kidding?! *facepalm Someone should go burn down the culprit's mother's house. She is just as much to blame for their plight as the DA is. As in... not at all.

      silvia.vaneck2 - 2012-11-15 12:47

      I have said all this time that it's the ANC (YL) causing havoc. It is the government that set the minimum wage.

      clive.kihn - 2012-11-15 14:13

      And what's the bet that no one will be arrested and charged, and if they are, the charges will be dropped.

  • vic.carrots - 2012-11-15 12:23

    COSATU, SACP and ANC are all evil deceivers who promised good life to all South Africans where as they meant good life for themselves. I South Africans in general should stand up and take these hyenas out of power for good. This country will continue going down as long as they are still in power.

  • mcsquire - 2012-11-15 12:25

    its a case of damned if you do damned, if you dont these chaps are just asking for a way to live, the farmers on the other hand needs to be very careful because what they do now will set a precedent for the future. cant believe that we have come here so quickly wake up sa !!!!!!!!! and i'm not talking politics

      silvia.vaneck2 - 2012-11-15 12:51

      Mcsquire, Unfortunately the farmers can't afford to pay more unless they get more for their produce from the middle man!! It is the middle man that is taking the biggest chunk of money. Most farmers barely survive from year to year and it would not surprise me if a few farmers change their crops to less labour intensive, stop farming or worst case scenarion go bankrupt!! But all Zuma is worried about is which taps to put in his new bathroom at Nkandla instead of sorting out the rising anarchy in SA!!

  • mahlorislash - 2012-11-15 12:27

    Bet those named in this article will be jobless pretty soon

  • rob.gunning.1 - 2012-11-15 12:31

    "If we get that settlement of R150, I will go back to work with all my heart. Because then I know I can put food on the table for my family and I can sort myself out." - I stand by you 100% !

      gert.c.mostert - 2012-11-15 15:15

      R70 to R150? That is about 107% increase? Now, food on the table after strikes? What food? Food prises going up 107%(and that margin will NOT reflect on the farmers bank accounts) still leave the end buyer (you mr striking for more money) in worst situation? Eish!

      acm.munro - 2012-11-15 16:02

      .."Because then I know I can put food on the table for my family ...." During the Marikana strike I heard an interview on the radio with one of the strikers who demanded the high increase ..."as I have seven children to support ..." I get the idea that strikers want more money, absolutely not connected to experience/qualifications/productivity .. but they have too large families, and the ANC seems to be blind to our population explostion.

  • bertus.smit.94 - 2012-11-15 12:32

    Got to laugh. If the guy gets his R150 he will go back to work with all his heart??? Til next year, thenhe throws stones again for R250. If you do not want to work for the money, by all means, don't. Quit and earnnothing you idiot. Nobody is forcing you to work for R70. On the other side, you, the striker, is forcing other people to fear driving anywhere. You are setting places on fire and do not have to be held accountable for your actions.

  • jacques.coetzer.71 - 2012-11-15 12:33

    This is just an cANCer Stunt before the elections. They transported prosters by bus to rip the places apart!

  • lekkeperd.chevyss - 2012-11-15 12:35

    Do you have the right to damage an loot and burn other people's property? Who the F*@K do you think toy are?? What goes around comes around boytjie. I hope they fire you first. Go Boere get rid of this rubish

      Stella.Eilers.Barnard - 2012-11-15 13:08

      Ja jule het di reg om te 'protest', maar NIE OM ALLES TE VERNIETIG EN AF TE BRAND NI!!!! Jule beskadig ander mense se eiendom en huke het di reg om dit te beskerm...oog vir n oog en n tand vir n tand...

  • emgee.taute - 2012-11-15 12:43

    Ha. They started it and now they can't stop it.

  • fanie.essgee - 2012-11-15 12:44

    IF YOU HAVE EATEN TODAY, THANK A FARMER, That is all I have to say......

  • eyesears.handsfeet - 2012-11-15 12:57

    Again such BS! Sies! die ........ regering kan darem lieg! This is their way of land grabbing for mineral rights and work the farmers off their lands, using the excuse of a wages dispute. Another case of keep me in the dark and feed me BS!

  • mariska.gerber.5 - 2012-11-15 12:58

    They will work for R150!!!fine...our farmers can pay you that......but then you can pay house rent and everything else the farmer gave you for free stupid!

  • David Steyn - 2012-11-15 13:09

    Dyasi dont be bloody stupid.

  • sthembiso.jali.50 - 2012-11-15 13:12

    We are back !!! Told yha.

      raymond.buis.3 - 2012-11-15 13:18


      sthembiso.jali.50 - 2012-11-15 13:27

      @raymond. ha ha ha ha.

      alan.gernet - 2012-11-15 13:28

      Trolls ot the world unite!

      butch.poulter - 2012-11-15 13:54

      And you going to starve, like the rest of this dismal continent run by thieving incompetent MORONS like yourself. Now switch your computer off and go burn,steal or destroy. Something you people seem to do so well.

      sthembiso.jali.50 - 2012-11-15 14:09

      Kahlen bo. Kahleni !

  • joyce.beeton - 2012-11-15 13:12

    .....and so it goes - "we want" "we want" - "our rights" - "our rights" - what about the rights of ordinary civilians whose property is always damaged when strikers protest! We are "supposed" to be equal before the law - they want action against the police who shot a worker but what about taking action against those people who stoned innocent passers-by and whose property was set alight! They have no respect for anything or other people, no respect for property and above all, they have very little respect for themselves. Only common people behave in this fashion.

      alan.gernet - 2012-11-15 13:28

      you have it all wrong Joyce - it's not 'we want' .. it's 'we demand't'

      butch.poulter - 2012-11-15 13:58

      And lets not forget the 3 ladies that were stripped naked in front of a crowed of men and stoned for wanting to go back to work. Savage or what???????

      siyabonga.phungula1 - 2012-11-15 14:47

      i agree with you on this point Joice. I have said again and again that though we respect the rights of workers to strike, other people's rights are also important. Hurting of people and damage to property are unacceptable.

  • barryheyns - 2012-11-15 13:14

    The problem is still the fact that the vast majority of people in this country has no proper education to understand the implications of their actions or to the grasp the fact that their own government is responsible for their poverty. Lonmin has unluckily set a norm of violence to get more and that's causing a wave of strikes. What makes this worse is the fact that we have no force to protect the innocent or stop the offenders. As soon as the majority of SA has the proper education to understand that the ANC is milking a already lean cow there might be a change in ruling party which could lead to a better SA. T-shirt & food handouts is worth more than improving their living conditions.

      joyce.beeton - 2012-11-15 13:20

      Very little chance of the education system changing soon - they lower the bar every year with the requirements being 30% in 4 subjects to pass - i.e. 3 out of 10 questions = 30% = people behaving like the fruit farm workers and Marikana miners. You cannot reason with people who are uneducated. It is also their culture "to have enough for today" is good enough. Which is why we are a Nation of "hand-outs".

  • Karabo Phetoane - 2012-11-15 13:17

    the farmers have to pay these guys a living descent wage because they the ones who are working on the fields to feed the nation.Anc doesn't own farmers maybe the DA,AfriForum,FFPlus and should encourage them to pay them what they want.a lot of sh**t have been said here not considering that these guys have got families to feed,how can you think someone can survive with less than R6 an hour

      alan.gernet - 2012-11-15 13:23

      And who is it to blame for having families with 4-8 kids, when you cannot even feed yourself?

      deon.cockrell - 2012-11-15 14:39

      Karabo, these workers are getting paid MORE than the government has decided they need to be paid. Please understand, the minimum wage is not decided by the farmers or the DA, AfriForum or FFPlus and yet they still pay more than they have to. Also keep in mind that the farmers take care of their workforce beyond just salary. I'm 30 years old and even though we want to start building a family, we understand that we cannot afford to have children yet. If I were to suddenly just spawn 5 children, I can't go beat my boss and burn my workplace because I could not take responsibility for planning my family and my own future.

  • hitting.thefan - 2012-11-15 13:21

    And then Tina Joemat-Pietersen goes on television and says the strike is no longer about wages but service delivery protest. They are a joke using any means possible to hide there incompetence! If people are not taught and forced to adhere to the proper processes to follow in disputes this behaviour will continue! and what is government doing, they are having a talk show and nobodies listening!!

  • russellblack.cowan - 2012-11-15 13:22

    Dear racists on this page. You go and work for R70 a day and see how you will survive by paying school fees,putting food on the table etc. Even R150 is not sufficient to live. This is pure exploitation of these poor workers. And I agree with their plight for better wages.

      barryheyns - 2012-11-15 13:29

      The minimum wage was set by the ANC... which they voted for... there is millions of people firstly capable and willing to do the same work because it's not skilled labour, anyone would be able to do the work with minimum traning, thats why the wage is that low. They can't make a living due to having 6 children. Not even middle class families have 6 chidren due to the cost of raising and educating them. The government is failing to assist these workers and their children in getting a proper education to work in a skilled position to earn more than R70 a day.

      josef.duplessis.5 - 2012-11-15 13:32

      Dear racist Black BEE Diamond. You are the biggest racist of 'em all.

      alan.gernet - 2012-11-15 13:33

      Yeah - easy to say when yo are a BEE beneficiary! However - when you have the opportunity to work as oposed to not work ... which is better. You ask any Zim/Moz refugee what they would give and do, just to have any income. See .. the fact is that in an economy, you can only get paid what a job is worth. Unskilled labour is very uncompetetive, and mechanized countries hold a great advantage over 3rd world countries. And BTW, those workers pay ZEROin school fees, and they are also responsible for the number of offspring they choose to have.

      butch.poulter - 2012-11-15 13:59

      25 million unemployed and rising.

  • russellblack.cowan - 2012-11-15 13:27

    If the farmers increase their wages, the workers will be more productive as they'll be more inclined to work which will result in a higher profit for the farmers and then everybody will benifit at the end of the day.

      alan.gernet - 2012-11-15 13:37

      you did economics in Zimpopo? Fact is that like the rest of the lazy nation, next year they will strike and destroy more while demanding higher wages for less work. Unskilled labour is redundant in the world.

      ruan.coetzee.547 - 2012-11-15 14:15

      Please, Tell that to the mine workers. They are just a useless as before. Before you even comment, I work in the mining industry. I have seen what go's on there, and they are pathetic, useless workers. That's the reason the mining companies has to hire 20 000 miners, cause the second ten thousand has to compensate for the other first ten thousand. They suppose to have 8 hour working shifts, but they only work for 4 hours and do stuff all the next 4 hours.

  • lititiah1 - 2012-11-15 13:30

    Seasonal workers wants R150- what would full time workers want? And in this instance why don't the goverment just pay everyone (beggars, thieves e.g) R150 per day? This is really not good economics?Do you know what a full time cashier at your nearest grocery shop earns a month?

  • josef.duplessis.5 - 2012-11-15 13:38

    Lamie Mqungquthu must be one of the dumbest sons of b!tches to walk on the soil of Africa. You might have a right to protest. You have no right to damage other peoples' property and threatening those who wish to work.

  • newbornr - 2012-11-15 13:39

    On the average table grape farm wages equates to roughly 42 percent of total production cost. This is based on the minimum wage as prescribed by Department of labour. (R70) By increasing the daily wage to R150 takes the wage portion of production cost to almost 90 percent. The demands are unachievable and will result in large scale job losses and farming operations failure.

      John - 2012-11-15 13:50

      What do you base your figures on? They do not ring true. Be specific!

      phae.rayden - 2012-11-15 14:07

      I don't believe these figures for a moment.

      alan.gernet - 2012-11-15 14:23

      I believ the figures - Labour and Fuel are the largest (non-asset) expenses of farmers in general, and the profit percentage of farmers is the lowest inthe economy, hence SA's lack of food security as it is.

      phae.rayden - 2012-11-15 15:30

      Still don't trust the figures quoted. As the lowest profit industry farmers know the wholesalers and retailers are their biggest problem, not wages. They are they ones who are making substantial profit, and they have been conspicuous in their silence concerning this unrest. Watch them use this as another excuse to raise prices of food, as during the truckers strike which has been over for weeks yet prices have yet to drop. We shout about the obvious importance of our farmers, but when do we the consumer challenge the correct people in order to save this industry, and ourselves?

  • Henry West - 2012-11-15 13:41

    Fire the whole lot of them i know of about 1milj whites that would work for that rate just to put bread on the table!!!

  • nettie.potgieter.5 - 2012-11-15 14:13

    Yes pay them beter. Pay them salaries the same as for the nurses and police. All workers must have matrice and diplomas in farm work. No housing on farms. No free elektricity. No transport. Let them pay for their own medical aid and pension. Give them nothing ekstra,don't be good to them by suplying them of any products from the farm. Dont care for the famalies. Don't talk to them about private maters. Treat them as employees and not friends.

  • mammone.tau.5 - 2012-11-15 14:14

    And What is the Goverment doing to make sure this ends Soon before we all die of Hunger?? In this case, it must be a trend, because Zuma and ANC Defy the citizens of this country everyday.

  • strikeback.strikeback - 2012-11-15 14:16

    To dismiss violent protesters is not the answer. To ensure that they are never employed again, that is the answer. The right to strike is protected by the constitution, but so is your right to employ. You can employ whom you want and refuse to employ whom you want. So many rights! Let's use them! Support Strikeback and exercise your right to choose!

  • mawetu.janda - 2012-11-15 14:24

    POLITIKS is full of idiots who can't see what lies beyond what they expect(of wanting Zille and Zuma to be seen as failures)is unemployment and increase of food prices that would afffect everyone including the farmworkers whom they claim to be fighting for but instead for their selfish egendas .It is COSATU's duty(in which is dismally failing) to truthfully reveal to the farmworkers that what they earn depends on the ammount of what is being produced and is not the same with every farm.

  • roy.wadhams.1 - 2012-11-15 14:25

    These people are ruining the country and the only reason that they want more money is to buy more booze. When one looks at the pictures of the farm workers as they stand around,one can see that many are under the influence from booze. The farmers should take COSATU and in particular that maaifoedie,Tony Enhrerich for his utterances to the workers to court

      phae.rayden - 2012-11-15 14:59

      I could cry when I read this type of ignorant comment... you heartless, ignorant man.

      roy.wadhams.1 - 2012-11-15 15:38

      @phae.rayden,when the truth is spoken many do cry but what can you expect from people who are destroying the country. They are looting wherever they go and destroying property whatever is in their way and stoning private cars and YOU want to cry,WHY? Farmers open their books for scrutiny and know that the problems is caused by a useless government. Have you ever been on a farm to see how these people treat one another when they are intoxicated,doubt that. If you must cry,cry over how the country is being messed up.

  • siyabonga.phungula1 - 2012-11-15 14:29

    farmers feed the nation thru the labour of workers, both must be appreciated. the burning of farms is totally unacceptable what are we going to eat(workers included) ?

  • siyabonga.phungula1 - 2012-11-15 14:31

    damage of property, pelting of police officers and zille, shooting of workers all these are not acceptable. We have to live together after the strike.

  • siyabonga.phungula1 - 2012-11-15 14:35

    looking at all sides: workers wages shud be reviewed=evryone agrees(farmers included). burning of farms totally wrong-if the farmers choose to close their farms there will be no work.

  • musawakhe.ngubane - 2012-11-15 14:39

    Just look at these racist comments from these reactionaries. They have been mourning since the death of apartheid. Wake up you counter-revolutionaries: We will never, never and never have a minority government at the expense of the majority. The grass will always be greener on the other side ( Europe). I am proud to be an African!

      damien.bako - 2012-11-15 16:15

      And what is there to be proud of?

  • phae.rayden - 2012-11-15 14:40

    Does it not concern anyone that farmers choose to pay minimum wage and pat themselves on the back for being such wonderful employers. I lived in the Breede River for years and know the people are angry at the way most are treated and the conditions they live in. How disgusting are most of you to think they should just shut up and be grateful for the scraps they are thrown. If you think the cost of food will skyrocket because they are paid R75 more a day that is ridiculous. Farmers need to stop using these people plus confront the real culprits of high food prices, and that's the retailers who screw farmers and consumers over alike.

      eyesears.handsfeet - 2012-11-15 15:46 If you want to be angry, be angry at the people who are actually the culprits. Who signs on behalf of the smaller unions - guess what cosatu, so who has signed for the wages? The discussions are between the government and cosatu. Funny how cosatu "re-negotiates" the wages on the "yearly" basis (with strikes and mass action) when in fact they are in the wrong. Coincidence - I think not!

      roy.wadhams.1 - 2012-11-15 15:52

      IT IS NOT THE farmers who set the wages,it is YOUR ANC government. Get your facts right. Perhaps you should move back to the Breede River or are you better off in the cities?

  • timothy.tanzer.5 - 2012-11-15 15:06

    You know ... a lot of this is the governments fault.. I is for inflation.. they way food and petrol prices have increased over this last year, I do not blame these people for being out of pocket... Another sterling example of how the ANC is destroying the economy here. Just a little taste of what would happen if we were to nationalise and land grabs were to occur

  • angela.nair.3 - 2012-11-15 16:00

    They should defy the Goverment and Cosatu! After all who set the benchmark for minimum wages for farmworkers ? The Labour Department who is part of Government! They were happy to call it a living wage when they said farmworkers can live on R69 a day. Today not one of them stands up and admits it - they are allowing the Cape to descend into chaos! 702 interviewed the ANC and Cosatu and they only hummed and haaaed! They dont admit what they did? I also think that farmers should look at technology - now - sadly Mines and Agriculture will become technology driven - I feel sorry for workers but thats whats gonna happen

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