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More WCape farm hearings planned

Cape Town - The labour department has extended its public hearings for the review of farmworker minimum wages - to take place across the Western Cape from Monday evening.

Acting spokesman Mokgadi Pela said the first hearing this week would take place in Grabouw at 6pm.

Police fire rubber bullets while protesters throw stones at them. File photo: Henk Kruger/Cape Argus. Credit: CAPE ARGUS

A second hearing would be held in Paarl on Tuesday evening.

Hearings had been set down for De Doorns, Robertson, Oudtshoorn and Vredendal for the remainder of the week, but venues had yet to be finalised.

The labour department held a month-long session of public hearings across the country in November and December following an extended strike by seasonal farmworkers in the Western Cape.

Farmworkers wanted the daily minimum wage to be increased from R69 to R150.

The Employment Conditions Commission was tasked with reviewing the sectoral determination for agriculture, which stipulates minimum wages, number of leave days, working hours, and termination rules among others.

The sectoral determination was put in place in March this year and could legally be reviewed again only in 12 months.

Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant was expected to make an announcement on the new wage determination in February, with this implemented from March 1. - Sapa

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