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'Impacts of the farmworkers’ strike extensive'

The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry has raised concerns the strike is affecting other businesses.

The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry says businesses are unable to deliver goods to farms where workers are on strike. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Saturday said the impact of the on-going farmworkers' strike in the Western Cape was not just be limited to the agricultural sector.

The industrial action resumed over a week ago, after wage talks deadlocked in December last year.

Striking workers are demanding a daily wage of R150, compared to the R69 many earn in accordance with the national sectoral determination for minimum wages in the farming sector.

The Chamber's chief economist, Michael Bagraim, said: "Other businesses in the area are suffering. There are problems where some of the businesses can't get through to particular farms where they need to deliver goods."

He also said other businesses were having trouble accessing game farms because of violence that had marred the wage strike.

Meanwhile, unionist Nosey Pieterse on Friday insisted the strike had not been completely called off, after workers in Clanwilliam accepted a wage increase offer of R105 this week.

Pieterse said there had been attempts to divide unions.

"I don't think that there are attempts among us - maybe there are some outside forces."

The Department of Labour will hold its final public hearing into minimum wages for farmworkers in the Western Cape this weekend.

The hearings began on Monday to give those affected a chance to have their say.

An announcement on the new minimum wage determination is expected to be made in February.

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