Early Christmas for farmworkers

The Oceana Group has donated money to ensure that farmworkers have a pleasant Christmas.

Many farm workers in the Hex River Valley complain about their living conditions. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Thousands of farmworkers throughout the province are expected to benefit from a R250,000 donation of food packages just in time for Christmas.

The Oceana Group donated the money on Friday.

Eight areas, including Bergriver, Malmesbury, Khayamandi, de doorns, Paarl and Citrusdal, will be receiving food parcels.

In November, 16 provincial farming areas embarked on a strike for higher wages.

The protesters were demanding their wages be increased to R150 per day.

The strike action became violent when vineyards were torched and shops looted.

The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Department's Palesa Mokomele says nearly R4,000 packages have been handed out in De Doorns thus far.

"When the labour protest escalated, it was clear to us that without wages these farmworkers would go without food during Christmas. The minister could not sit back and do nothing about it."