CCMA to mediate in De Doorns

Many farm workers in the Hex River Valley complain about their living conditions. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN
Tuesday saw a second day of unrest in De Doorns as farmworkers blocked the N1 highway and torched vines, demanding better pay. Aletta Gardner reports.

CAPE TOWN – Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) officials are in De Doorns to try and mediate following a strike by farm workers in the area.

On Monday, at least seven people were arrests and several vineyards were torched.

Workers are demanding a wage increase.

Protestors have now converged on the town's main street where negotiations will be held at the municipal buildings.

Negotiator Monwabisi Khodile is representing the workers.

“They are demanding R150 a day. They are currently earning between R60 and R70. They work 12 hours a day.”

Earlier, police fired rubber bullets at protesters after they pelted stones at patrolling officers.

Farm workers in the area have been up in arms since Monday, saying they want their daily wages doubled.

Parts of the N2 highway were closed to traffic on Monday.

At least 30 hectares of vineyard were also torched.

Meanwhile, a local farmer is facing murder charges after he allegedly fired at the protesters earlier in the day.

(Edited by Lindiwe Mlandu)