Farmworker strike affects travelling routes

The N2 in Grabouw was closed off as farmworkers got an early start to their strike on Wednesday.

Farmworkers gather outside a bus depot in Pineview, Grabouw 9 January 2013. Picture: Rahima Essop/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Grabouw saw the first signs of the threatened farmworkers strike.

The N2 in the area was closed to traffic on Wednesday morning due to the industrial action.

Several unions are leading a province-wide strike over wages.

Workers are demanding that their daily wages be more than doubled to R150.

Provincial traffic service's Donald Lackay said, "We have alternative routes through the town and there are traffic officers who are there to assist those who are lost or can't find their way."

Motorists heading towards Sir Lowry's Pass have also been urged to make use of alternative routes.

Those travelling in that area can either drive through the town or travel via Kleinmond.

A motorist who drove on the N2 early on Wednesday morning described the scene.

"There are a lot of rocks and big stones lying in the road. We saw some people standing on the side of the road, but there were more police than people. There were a lot of police with big guns and police vehicles."

Meanwhile the labour department said negotiations between farming unions and employers will continue even as the potentially crippling strike goes ahead.