Limpopo farmer gets R28m notice

2012-11-08 07:18

Johannesburg - A Limpopo farmer was slapped with a R28m contravention notice on Wednesday for failing to comply with several labour regulations, the department of labour said.

"The compliance must be adhered to in 21 days and failure to do this will prompt us to take the matter to the labour court to make the compliance order an order of the court," said deputy director Phaswane Tladi.

"We applied for variation because the farm owner provides food and accommodation freely, while it has been discovered that this is not provided on a consistent and regular basis as a condition of employment.

"The accommodation also does not meet the requirement as set out in the Sectoral Determination 13 of the Farm Workers Sector."

He said the farmer, who owned over 20 farms in the province and employed over 2 000 people, failed to pay minimum wages as per the sectoral determination, failed to pay employees' leave and had taken unauthorised deductions from them, between 2010 and 2011.

Tladi said the amount did not include the non-contribution towards the unemployment insurance fund (UIF) and the Compensation of Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, which stood at over R1m.

"We will still have to look at aspects of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and after our observations, make further recommendations in this respect."

Human resource manager at the farm, Peet van Niekerk, who took the compliance order on behalf of the farm, said they welcomed the findings of the department.

The farm's management would be notified and due action would be taken to remedy the situation, he said.

  • Lyndatjie - 2012-11-08 07:37

    20 Farms? Looking at all the contraventions to Labour Law - no wonder it is 20 farms.

  • kim.buren - 2012-11-08 07:40

    R28m. Ouch !! that is going to hurt

  • Khetha Hlophe - 2012-11-08 07:43

    In farms the owner builds a shop where employees supposed to buy and its very expensive. The money cicrulate inside the farm.

  • terrylee.heuer - 2012-11-08 07:47

    I hope whoever wants to do farming takes cognisance of these labour laws its not childs play!! Farmers were warned that authorities would be doing their rounds to see if employees were treated fairly!! I hope Govt teaches new owners the laws of the farming world when they buy their land!! Its a serious business

  • lskosana3 - 2012-11-08 07:49

    Pure exploitation, and the anger and frustration of the workers builds up slowly but surely and then what happens in the end? See where I'm going with this...

      john.sourcer - 2012-11-08 07:55

      I don't see? Where are you going with it?

  • derek.smith.12177276 - 2012-11-08 07:50

    I guess 2000 people is gonna be jobless soon...assume the Dept of labor will take care of them..

  • cemslie - 2012-11-08 07:55

    Its interesting to see how quickly people jump on the "blame the farmer" bandwagon.......but turn the table a little and lets see whos will to pay R200 for a bag of potatoes, or R50 for a lettuce......think just a pittle people before you mumble on about things you know nothing of. business has plans and models in order to create profits to cover costs and with the current state of economy farmers will soon be forced to abandon ship due to unachievable profits and running huge losses. Then we sit in a sinking farmers = no food = us importing food = us paying through our nostrils to survive = no more jobs for local basic labour forces!!!

      brucemgiles - 2012-11-08 08:15

      What a load of rubbish, in the uk farmers do it for less with supermarket prices of round R100 per kilos, with a min wage of approx seventy bucks an hour. Don't defend exploitation of the poor, there are obviously ways to maximize efficiency without exploiting.

      mashadi.matjila - 2012-11-08 08:40

      This is about the exploitation of workers,you can't justify not paying employees who earn next to nothing to start with

  • vicki.malatse - 2012-11-08 08:13

    How can 1 person own 20 farms,or is this hard work we hear about daily

  • zimbobwe.mugabe - 2012-11-08 08:15

    For a change the department of labour is doing it's job and that is all South Africans want to see. This thing of civilians sleeping on jobs and surfing the internet is not on and I'm happy. We always complain about government employees not doing their job but this is something in the right direction. As for the prophets of doom saying 2000 people will loose their jobs you are all lying. It's not the employees fault that this man did not comply with the basic conditions of employment.

  • stertjie.stert - 2012-11-08 08:22

    I guess this could be a case of the wheel turning.... good! It's about time that some of these abusive employers get nailed - as an employer ourselves we do everything to the book and get nailed when our taxes are paid over just one day late, we are bombarded with random labour inspections etc; but the guys who treat their employees like nothing and do not pay what they have to pay in taxes or wages simply get off and get richer.

  • snow.maleka - 2012-11-08 08:24

    "The employer didn't comply with several labour regulations",Therefore he broke the law as simple as that,some people are trying hard to turn this findings into something else?

  • pienaar.jordaan - 2012-11-08 08:34

    I see 2000 employed people on farms that work! I see a notice, not a guilty finding. I see a food producer, employer contributor. I also see immediate guilty findings, I see claims for redistribution to lazy entitlement mentality, I see immediate racism. I see many idiots here

  • onlinebaas - 2012-11-08 08:47

    Wait, a farmer gets a 28mil fine, but Malema and Zuma undermines a nation and they get off scott-free?

  • briana.scott - 2012-11-08 08:49

    well now there will be 2000 more unemployed people, but what does the government care the will be R28m richer.

  • clive.kihn - 2012-11-08 09:16

    And what about the multitude of labour laws broken by Messrs Zuma and Mandela at Aurora Mining? Clearly a separate set of laws operates for the politically connected.

  • Mike Peach Purchase - 2012-11-08 09:48

    And any form of government that exploits its tax payers must be removed!

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