80% of farmworkers return to work

A large number of farmworkers returned to work following strike action, Agri Wes-Cape says.

A protester confronts a farmer in a bakkie while others (unseen) block the main road in Swellendam with burning obstacles on 15 November 2012. Picture:Nardus Engelbrecht/SAPA.

CAPE TOWN - Agri Wes-Cape on Tuesday said 80 percent of the labourers, who downed tools during the two-week long farmworkers' strike, are back on the job.

Workers from several farms in the Boland, Cape Winelands, Overberg, De Doorns and Ceres went on the rampage last week demanding better wages.

They want R150 for a day's work, as opposed to the R70 they are currently receiving.

In some areas, shops were looted, vineyards were torched and roads blocked with burning tyres.

At least two people died in the protests.

Agri Wes-Cape's Portia Adams said, "We're very glad that production is back on and that people are returning to work."

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) accused the ANC of instigating the protests.

The DA said the entire industrial action was "politically motivated" as it is the only province where the ANC is not in power.

However, the ruling party denied this saying the DA was using it as a scapegoat instead of facing the issues affecting farmworkers.