Cosatu threatens to bring 'farming to its knees'
Tony Ehrenreich says there has been a marked escalation in farm evictions across the country.
CAPE TOWN - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) in the Western Cape has threatened to bring farming to its knees if evictions aren't immediately stopped.
Cosatu, the African National Congress (ANC) and farmworker organisations are calling on government to end illegal evictions by introducing a moratorium.
Cosatu's Tony Ehrenreich says there has been a marked escalation in farm evictions, not just in Cape Town but across the country.
Ehrenreich called on farmworkers to unite but admitted tensions are running high in the country and that renewed strikes could exacerbate the situation.
He says a strike date has not yet been set.
"We are cautioning everyone that it's going to happen again. There is, however, another process underway. There is a national Nedlac section 77 processes where AgriSA is involved in the sessions. If those discussions don't lead to solutions, there is going to be a strike."
At the same time, the ANC's Marius Fransman says farmworkers are fearful as they don't have any rights to live on farms.
At the weekend, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said farmworker evictions in the Boland area were a major concern for government.
Ramaphosa and other senior ANC leaders visited Mbekweni near Paarl on Sunday as part of the community engagement programme led by the party.
He said the rate at which labourers, especially in the Boland, are being kicked out of their homes, was alarming.
"Mass evictions should not be taking place in a democratic South Africa."
The deputy president called on farm owners to refrain from evicting their workers until a consensus between all parties had been found.