Johannesburg - Agriculture Minister Senzeni Zokwana is committed to lead by example regarding fair wages for farm workers, the department said on Wednesday.
“The minister commits himself to leading the sector by example and encourages all farm owners to comply with the minimum wage as stipulated by the sectoral determination committee,” spokeswoman Palesa Mokomele said in a statement.
Zokwana did not own a farm but had a herd of cattle, said Mokomele.
The City Press reported on Sunday that Zokwana paid his cattle herder R800 a month.
According to the paper, Vuyolwethu Ndabambi, 21, earned about R26 a day and worked every day of the week.
Zokwana was president of the National Union of Mineworkers before President Jacob Zuma appointed him to his new Cabinet.
Earlier, the union said it disapproved of workers being underpaid.
“Therefore it is our expectation that comrade... Zokwana... will deal with the issues raised positively and constructively given the concerns and expectations more so triggered by his new status,” said NUM spokesman Livhuwani Mammburu.
Mmamburu called on Cosatu national office bearers to lead by example by declaring the remuneration of their workers.
“We call on those leaders who have companies, directly or indirectly through their spouses, to come out clean and declare openly how much they pay their workers,” he said.