Some farmworkers continue working

Some farmworkers have decided not to take part in the unprotected, indefinite strike action.

Gertruida Williams continued her work as usual on a Western Cape grape farm whilst labourers on other farms joined the strike on 9 January 2013. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Some farmworkers near Worcester on Wednesday said they were not taking part in an indefinite strike as they could not afford to lose their daily wages.

Labourers are demanding, among other things, a daily wage of R150. Many currently earn R69 a day.

One worker, who tools the ground on a farm near Worcester, said he and some of his fellow workers will not down tools as they fear losing their jobs.

"There are so many problems on the farms."

In nearby Wolsey, protesting workers were stopped dead on their tracks as they tried to march into the town centre.

An armoured police vehicle and officers kept a close eye on strikers who taunted them.

De Doorns was the epicentre of the violence. Several people were injured in clashes between police while a journalist's car was torched.


Police have had their hands full trying to disperse hundreds of striking farmworkers there.

Farmworkers blocked the N2 highway, stoned cars and looted a shopping centre in Pine View.

The unprotected strike gained momentum as more and more people joined in on the streets of Pine View.

Earlier, a memorandum was handed to a local farmers group.

A representative, Bruce Huckster, said, "It's just difficult times now and hopefully we'll get through it and everyone comes out on the other side a winner."

However, it was not long before the situation degenerated.

A large group stormed the nearby Pine View Centre and looted a supermarket.

Community leader John Michaels said, "We'll try our best to maintain discipline."

Police officers with guns drawn had difficulties trying to disperse the volatile crowd.

They also had to repeatedly clear the road of rocks and rubbish.