De Doorns farmers may lose work
Continued strike action may result in farmer’s losing work close to harvest time.
CAPE TOWN - If the strike in De Doorns continues it will impact the farm workers negatively, because there will be less work for them during the harvest, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture said on Monday.
On Monday, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Tina Joemat-Pettersson held a meeting in Pretoria to discuss the De Doorns farm workers strike, which is currently in its second week.
Workers are demanding that they daily wages increase from R75 to R150.
Ten people were arrested for public violence and intimidation on Monday, following more violent protests in the area.
The department's Wouter Kriel said: "If the strike action continues for another week or so, it will start to put producers under pressure and they would have o rethink their preparation up to harvest time."
Wage negotiations between De Doorns farmers and worker representatives deadlocked, following recent violent protests in the small Hex River Valley town.
Demonstrators blocked the N1 highway and burnt several hectares of vineyards.
Many De Doorns farmers and their families have fled their homes amid unrest, while some parents have been afraid to send their children to school.
As officials scramble to find a solution to the De Doorns farm workers strike, it appears protests are now spreading to other parts of the Western Cape.
Western Cape police spokesperson Andre Traut said they are also keeping an eye on the town of Ceres.
"We had a situation where veld was set alight in Ceres on Monday night, but the fire was brought under control very quickly. On Tuesday morning, groups of people were gathering on neighbouring farms in the Ceres area. Police are monitoring the situation and will deal with any occurrence."