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Striking De Doorns farmworkers regroup

Western Cape police are keeping a close eye on 7,000 striking farmworkers.

Protesting farm workers march through the De Doorns town centre on 6 November 2012. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape police are monitoring the situation in De Doorns on Thursday where striking farmworkers have once again been mobilising.

The N1 Highway has been closed to traffic.

Labourers are demanding a R150 daily wage.

The police's Andre Traut says, "The situation in De Doorns is being closely monitored by police. A total of 7,000 people have gathered. So far no incidents of unrest or violence have been reported."

Meanwhile, the chairperson of the Cape Orchard Company is frustrated because employees in the Hex River Valley have not returned to work, despite him agreeing to increase their wages.

Gerrit de Kock owns or controls 15 grape farms in Clanwilliam, Touwsriver, Trawal and the Hex River Valley.

Cape Orchard has agreed to pay labourers a R105 daily wage.

The company employs approximately 2,000 farmworkers.

De Kock says workers have not returned to their posts on 12 farms in the Hex River Valley, largely because people are being intimidated.

"I've spoken to Cosatu this morning and they have great difficulty in getting this lion back into the cage. They can't control it anymore and they've asked me to be patient."

De Doorns in the Hex River Valley has been the centre of the ongoing and often violent strike.