Farmworkers to down tools tomorrow

Farmworkers will down tools on Tuesday to demand an increase in minimum wages.

Farmworkers across South Africa are expected to embark on a strike for an increase in wages.

CAPE TOWN - Farmworkers across the country are expected to down tools on Tuesday to demand an increase in the minimum wage.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said negotiations between workers and farmer organisations broke down.

Workers are demanding a daily wage of R150 a day.

They currently earn an average of R70 a day and rejected a R10 increase from employers in November.

Last month, a series of protests erupted in De Doorns, Ceres and Wolseley in the Western Cape, prompting calls for the Labour Ministry to intervene.

The strike looks set continue because there has been no offer from employers.

At the same time, the new sectoral determination for a minimum wage could take several months to complete.

Cosatu Western Cape Secretary Tony Ehrenreich said, "Negotiations with Angri-SA have broken down because they don't want to agree that R69 is a slave wage and they don't want to increase it."