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De Doorns farmworkers defiant

De Doorns farmworkers were offered a wage deal but still won’t return to work.

De Doorns farm workers went on a rampage over salaries on. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Building and Allied Workers Union of South Africa (Bawusa) said on Friday striking workers in De Doorns handed over a memorandum to the local farmers association requesting for negotiations to take place as soon as possible.

The town was a no-go zone on Thursday when thousands of labourers took part in a protest march.

Farmworkers are demanding a R150 daily wage, an increase from the R69 they claim to be earning per day.

The N1 Highway in the area has been closed to traffic since the start of the mass action two weeks ago.

Bawusa front-man Nosey Pieterse said, "We cannot support a call for farmworkers to return to work where there is no agreement. They'll be going back to more dismissals, intimidation and victimisation."

Gerrit de Kock who owns 15 grape farms in Clanwilliam, Touwsriver, Trawal and the Hex River Valley called Cape Orchards, has greed to pay labourers a R105 daily wage.

The company employs approximately 2,000 farmworkers.

But employees at the company's 12 farms in the Hex River Valley have still not returned to work.

De kock said unions have lost control of the situation.

"It's frustrating. After we did this in Clanwilliam, farmworkers went back to work and now we've done this is the Hex River Valley and people are not going back to work."

De Doorns has been the centre of the ongoing and often violent strike.