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More farm protests planned in the WC

Bawusa says a series of protest marches by farmworkers have been planned for this week.

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

CAPE TOWN - Agricultural union, Building and Allied Workers Union of South Africa (Bawusa), on Monday said a series of protest marches were planned for the week, as part of the on-going farmworkers' strike in the Western Cape.

The industrial action has entered its third week.

Bawusa general secretary Nosey Pieterse said strikers intend marching in Wolseley on Monday.

"The focus is on marches to the farms, where we will deliver memorandums of demands to farmers."

He said they would also hold meetings in communities that served as sources of labour.

Pieterse said the demonstrations were aimed at increasing the pressure on farm owners to bow to their demands.

Labourers are calling for a daily wage of R150 which is said to be more than double the current amount of R69 which most workers claim to earn.

MINIMUM WAGE HEARINGS CONCLUDE

Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant is expected to make a decision about the farmworkers minimum wage at the start of February.

The department at the weekend wrapped up its week-long public hearings in areas such as Grabouw, Paarl, Robertson and Vredendal.

The hearings were aimed at giving the workers an opportunity to voice their views.

Departmental spokesperson Thembinkosi Mkalipi said a report will now be written and submitted to the Employment Conditions Commission, who will make a recommendation on how to go forward.

The minister will then accept the recommendation or refer it back to the commission with possible concerns once she has considered it.