'More violence in farmworkers strike'

There are reports that striking farmworkers are throwing stones in Clanwilliam and Riviersonderend.

Police keep an eye on farmworkers who protested in Wolseley on 9 January 2013. Picture: Regan Thaw/EWN

CAPE TOWN - While some farmers agreed to resume wage talks in a desperate bid to end a violent strike in the Western Cape, there were reports on Friday that unrest that had marred the industrial action was spreading.

Labourers in the province have downed tools and are demanding a daily wage of R150, which is almost double to what they are currently earning.

Workers resumed their strike on Wednesday, after unsuccessful farm level negotiations in December.

Reports of stone throwing in Clanwilliam and Riviersonderend in the Southern Cape emerged earlier on Friday.

Police have said they will remain on high alert across the province.

Meanwhile, the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) has condemned the violence, saying it is uncalled for.

Fedusa president Koos Bezuidenhout said the intimidation of non-striking farm labourers continued on farms.

Meanwhile, a Hex River Valley farmer has said his decision to negotiate with farmworker unions directly did not imply a lack of faith in Agri South Africa.

Cape Orchard Company chairperson Gerhard de Kock announced that he would begin talks with the unions to find a solution to the on-going violent strike.

The company owns 12 farms in the region and produces over three million boxes of grapes a year.

De Kock said he hoped the talks would help end the violent strike.

"It's not a question of not having faith in Agri SA. What is a fact, and people don't like it, is that Agri SA can never have a mandate to talk on behalf on an individual entrepreneur."