Agri-Wes Cape concerned by pay hikes

Agri-Wes Cape believes many farmers will struggle to pay their workers the new minimum daily wage.

Striking farmworkers hurl rocks at police during a protest for better wages in De Doorns in the Western Cape, Thursday, 10 January 2013. Picture: Nardus Engelbrecht/SAPA

CAPE TOWN - Agri-Wes Cape believes many farmers will struggle to pay their workers the new minimum daily wage of R105.

The adjustment will come into effect next week.

The previous minimum wage was R69 a day.

Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant announced the pay rise earlier in February, following last year's violent strike action at farms across the Western Cape.

Agri-Wes Cape's Carl Opperman said the basic wage does not include the add-on costs that farmers need to pay.

"You get into a situation where it's totally uneconomical for certain farming units."

Opperman believes the sector will be restructured in terms of labour.

He said labour costs will increase from 30-45 percent, to over 50 percent of production.