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Bawusa: At least 20 farmworkers evicted per month

Bawusa’s Nosey Pieterse says the union's lawyer has almost 30 eviction cases sitting on his desk.

FILE:  Bawusa has warned if a strike takes place in the sector before the end of the year, it will be bigger than the one seen in the Western Cape two years ago. Picture: Sapa.

CAPE TOWN - The Building and Allied Workers Union of South Africa (Bawusa) claims at least 20 people are being evicted off farms each month in the Western Cape.

On Tuesday, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), the African National Congress (ANC) and other farm labourer groups detailed their concerns over evictions on farms, which they say are on the rise.

Bawusa's Nosey Pieterse says the union's lawyer has almost 30 eviction cases sitting on his desk.

Pieterse claims that as evictions escalate, so does frustration among farmworkers.

"Workers felt intimidated enough to leave the farms on their own accord."

He adds if a strike goes ahead before the end of the year, it will be bigger than the one seen in the Western Cape two years ago.

But Pieterse is adamant he doesn't want the same kind of violence which saw hectares of orchards, packing sheds and equipment destroyed.

Cosatu has threatened to bring farming to its knees if evictions aren't immediately stopped.

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.

The deputy president called on farm owners to refrain from evicting their workers until a consensus between all parties had been found.