Wage deal riles farmers


Craig Dodds,

Shanti Aboobaker

and Xolani Koyana

FARMERS who say the new minimum wage will lead to job losses could lose their land, Cosatu Western Cape secretary Tony Ehrenreich said yesterday.

Ehrenreich was responding to warnings from Agri-SA and Agri Western Cape that the increased minimum wage for farmworkers would lead to “restructuring”, including mechanisation and decreased demand for unskilled labour.

“The farmers who make these threats must keep on making these threats. The restructuring will happen and part of that restructuring will lead to them losing their land,” he said.

“If they can’t use it then they must lose it. They must go somewhere else. But this is a country now that understands that workers are an essential input, that their interests and their best futures must also be taken into account.”

The time for “old ‘baasskap’ attitudes” was over, he said after the announcement yesterday by Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant of a minimum wage of R105 a day, which farmworker groups said fell short of their expectations.

Agri Western Cape chief executive Carl Opperman said increased labour costs would lead to shedding of surplus labour. “We will have much more high-productive labour, much more skilled labour. So we will not accommodate a lot of the unskilled labour on the farm any more, and that will be moved back to the government and we will see how they can handle it,” he said.

Oliphant announced the R36 increase on the current minimum of R69 a day in Pretoria yesterday, saying it would take effect from March 1 and would be followed by increases equal to the consumer price inflation rate plus 1.5 percentage points for the following two years.

But, as suggested in a specially commissioned study, this is likely to stretch some farmers’ finances to breaking point while coming nowhere close to a living wage for their workers.

The hike follows strikes last year, when workers demanded a minimum of R150 a day.

Oliphant quoted the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy economic analysis commissioned by parties to negotiations in the sector to explain the paradox faced by the Employment Conditions Commission in making a recommendation to her on a new minimum wage.

The study found that “if the average wage increases to more than R104.98 a day, many farms will be unable to cover their operating expenses and hence not be able to pay back borrowings or to afford entrepreneurs remuneration”.

It found that “the real problem is that even at what seems to be an unaffordable minimum wage of R150 a day, most households cannot provide the nutrition that is needed to make them food secure”.

Oliphant appeared to acknowledge the possibility of job losses when she said farmers in difficulty should use the government’s training lay-off scheme, which provides skills to redundant workers.

She also said farmers could apply for an exemption to the minimum wage “provided they are going to submit proof” in the form of financial statements showing they couldn’t afford the regulated minimum.

Employment Conditions Commission member Professor

Adriaan van der Walt said such exemptions had not “significantly been granted” in the past “because the principle of the minimum wage is really to bring… the minimum wage up to a level that is a little bit closer to a living wage”.

Mercia Andrews of Mawubuye Land Rights Movement said there were mixed reactions from workers in the Ashton and Robertson areas about the new minimum wage.

“They feel like it is a small step from what they earned before. They still feel that they live below living wages. Many see the R150 as an amount they must still struggle for. This small victory is because of their struggle and they will continue to fight.

“Their struggle was not just about the demand for R150; it was about their victimisation at the hands of farmers. A great number of workers have been evicted and dismissed. Those issues have not been dealt with and we will take them up in the coming days.”

Bawsi Agricultural Workers Union of SA general secretary Nosey Pieterse said he was “disappointed” with Oliphant’s decision to keep the minimum wage under R150. He feared that those workers who had set their hearts on a minimum wage of R150 would want to resume the strike.

“Maybe she didn’t hear sufficient voices that supported an increase to R150,” he said.

He said the union would discuss the issue with Cosatu and other organisations.

Agriculture and Rural Development MEC Gerrit van Rensburg welcomed the announcement and hoped it would bring peace to the farms.

The minimum wage was now law and all farmers should abide by it, he said.

He said the national government should set up a programme to incentivise farmers to help them absorb high labour costs.

Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder said South Africans faced the “unfortunate” choice of a minimum wage or no work at all.

“It should be expected that South Africa’s agriculture will in the next couple of years undergo a total restructuring where farmers will be changing to less labour-intensive products or will mechanise in an effort to balance their books,” Mulder said.

“Where permanent workers will not be affected so much by the new wage determination, it will lead to the dismissal of tens of thousands of seasonal and temporary workers. The decision will also directly work against the government’s intention to create more jobs in rural areas. It will also very negatively affect emerging farmers.”

DA spokesman on labour Sej Motau said the party hoped the new determination would put an end to farm strikes.

“We trust that Minister Oliphant and the various negotiating parties, including Cosatu, have factored in the potential job losses in the sector and that government will be putting measures in place to mitigate against this.”


sign up
 
Newspaper Subscriptions
Bienkie01
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 34 and 48.
View Profile
Chriz_1985
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
Judith78
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 48.
View Profile
SheBear
I'm a 46 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 51.
View Profile
Doeksa
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 33 and 39.
View Profile
Lissa25
I'm a 25 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 31.
View Profile
Mo1979
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 43.
View Profile
Warmsmilewarmheart
I'm a 47 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
sonskyn27
I'm a 56 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
Optimistic2014
I'm a 46 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
liefilyf
I'm a 42 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 48.
View Profile
opsoek23
I'm a 23 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 34.
View Profile
Rarefind
I'm a 54 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 52 and 63.
View Profile
KW82
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 40.
View Profile
nirina
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
MissMoneypenny_13
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 42.
View Profile
Kruie
I'm a 39 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 60.
View Profile
Mickey101
I'm a 25 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 30.
View Profile
sexyhair
I'm a 42 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
Sale_0084
I'm a 58 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 55 and 65.
View Profile
ShanJo
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 42.
View Profile
FaiRy9
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 36.
View Profile
SA04
I'm a 47 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 60.
View Profile
Dandelion
I'm a 46 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
Denie_28
I'm a 50 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 53.
View Profile
LJC777
I'm a 46 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
siavolstrooi
I'm a 54 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 50 and 55.
View Profile
Hopeful_dreamer
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 33 and 45.
View Profile
TuffLove
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
mda01
I'm a 56 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 59.
View Profile
Cathwhite
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
capenewbie
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
GypseyTraveller
I'm a 54 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 50 and 58.
View Profile
miesies
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 40.
View Profile
jinxie_007
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 38.
View Profile
Bosnimf007
I'm a 25 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 35.
View Profile
kosmoskatinka
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
PowerPrincess
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 47.
View Profile
your_wildest_dreams
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
Gemima
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
Bastet_11
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 48.
View Profile
Authenticity1425
I'm a 39 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 34 and 47.
View Profile
Smurfette
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Apple_853
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
Infin8
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 42.
View Profile
optimistic_36
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 46.
View Profile
Is_jy_opreg
I'm a 49 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 50 and 55.
View Profile
Lesel
I'm a 46 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
Bluebell531
I'm a 46 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 60.
View Profile
Vredelief
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 34.
View Profile
Crispy990
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 24 and 35.
View Profile
Lady_101
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 38.
View Profile
Dee37
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 45.
View Profile
Fire_and_Ice81
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Tasja_226
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 37 and 45.
View Profile
Bebe1000
I'm a 53 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 49 and 57.
View Profile
FoXyLaDy444
I'm a 56 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 50 and 65.
View Profile
dragonfly86
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 35.
View Profile
jenjenk
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 40.
View Profile
Bluelily77
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 34 and 50.
View Profile
Artistixoxo
I'm a 23 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 23 and 28.
View Profile
LimitlessSoul
I'm a 45 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
KittyCat_69
I'm a 46 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
Plattelandsenooi3
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 33 and 45.
View Profile
Isabel_33
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 33 and 42.
View Profile
jamielief
I'm a 21 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 32.
View Profile
Kay_722
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
FootballCrazy
I'm a 42 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 39 and 50.
View Profile
HenrietteF
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 42.
View Profile
Persephone101
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
JanieL
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 32.
View Profile
EMT2014
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
Smileawhile
I'm a 45 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 52.
View Profile
Moze008
I'm a 57 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 55 and 70.
View Profile
Okidoki_63
I'm a 51 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 60.
View Profile
Jenny84
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 33 and 40.
View Profile
Maybe70
I'm a 44 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
Minky3001
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 40.
View Profile
esk123
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 37 and 45.
View Profile
AgentI
I'm a 39 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
Leigh1979
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 40.
View Profile
Pinky340
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 47.
View Profile
sweets1987
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 42.
View Profile
Girlonabike
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
Biancs_79
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
Dollie81
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 49.
View Profile
Romantic_Gal
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
LielaZ
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 35.
View Profile
Vuurvliegie1974
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 39 and 47.
View Profile
JillieB
I'm a 61 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 55 and 70.
View Profile
Angelwinz
I'm a 44 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 48.
View Profile
MissCurious_M
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Kelbels0201
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 42.
View Profile
Lala8610
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 32.
View Profile
ContagiousLaughter
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 36 and 44.
View Profile
Unicorn17
I'm a 21 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 23 and 26.
View Profile
Angdt
I'm a 21 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 23 and 30.
View Profile
0044MJM
I'm a 49 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 48 and 61.
View Profile
Butterfly_effect
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 36 and 48.
View Profile
CTBLONDE
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men and women between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
CreativeExplorer
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
Yvard
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 44.
View Profile
richy10
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 49 and 70.
View Profile
JPretoria
I'm a 38 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 40.
View Profile
Chas008
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
brightday111
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 59.
View Profile
Ons2alleen
I'm a 30 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 24 and 29.
View Profile
cloudhopper
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
Bruce_308
I'm a 47 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 41 and 70.
View Profile
versl_550
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 60.
View Profile
plodof
I'm a 58 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
Pat321
I'm a 49 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 38 and 48.
View Profile
VirgoMan1970
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 50.
View Profile
breeze001
I'm a 49 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
kannieworrynie
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
Coolfun
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
funsunsea0007
I'm a 58 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 58.
View Profile
TheDuke_99
I'm a 36 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 42.
View Profile
Jericho2010
I'm a 41 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 49.
View Profile
Stdave
I'm a 38 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 42.
View Profile
cornrlius205
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 50.
View Profile
TLS11
I'm a 53 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 60.
View Profile
goldenhat
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 36 and 66.
View Profile
JustCallMeBwana
I'm a 47 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 45.
View Profile
naughty_sporty
I'm a 41 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
Propriety
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
Dn212
I'm a 51 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 60.
View Profile
LEANMAN
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 39.
View Profile
pinsnow
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 65.
View Profile
Firefox_771
I'm a 63 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 42 and 56.
View Profile
Natural123
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
Lastgreatwhite
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
jacuwig
I'm a 25 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 20 and 25.
View Profile
henisright
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 37 and 53.
View Profile
Brend86
I'm a 28 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 24 and 32.
View Profile
Fred58
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
gavinzn
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 57.
View Profile
dinnerfortwo
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
daniel101
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 32 and 38.
View Profile
koolstoof55
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 63.
View Profile
willing_915
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 55 and 70.
View Profile
FamilyMan72
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 43.
View Profile
wiedahunk
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 70.
View Profile
Natureboykie
I'm a 60 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 43 and 64.
View Profile
Wnd_112
I'm a 38 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 37.
View Profile
Ironstein06
I'm a 36 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 37.
View Profile
6s6s6s
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
stumpjumper
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
captainkid
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 47 and 56.
View Profile
Alachison
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
Elem_ce
I'm a 35 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
MLACOME0147
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 49 and 79.
View Profile
lvebird53
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 65.
View Profile
Lockstep
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 49.
View Profile
karooboertjie15
I'm a 40 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 40.
View Profile
cknneth111
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 41 and 70.
View Profile
Lonomor
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
Stand64
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 36 and 55.
View Profile
Kitchenslave
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
zachki
I'm a 47 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 37 and 55.
View Profile
HappyEnding
I'm a 49 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 36 and 45.
View Profile
matiekat
I'm a 66 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 100.
View Profile
Officer_Gentleman
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 48.
View Profile
LovingSerenity
I'm a 38 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 24 and 45.
View Profile
KTM1190A
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 58.
View Profile
Banker009
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 34 and 46.
View Profile
freddic1
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 47 and 55.
View Profile
Guardian_24
I'm a 41 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 37 and 43.
View Profile
tommy351
I'm a 61 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 59.
View Profile
dddmelw
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 58.
View Profile
DaveB_791
I'm a 49 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
rjscm
I'm a 48 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
Agent_K1
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 38 and 40.
View Profile
DutchDelight_
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 46.
View Profile
CosmicHero
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 53.
View Profile
Smartboy_102
I'm a 60 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 47 and 57.
View Profile
Suidwester27
I'm a 53 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
CL4ptp
I'm a 28 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 22 and 28.
View Profile
Zest4Life021
I'm a 75 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 60.
View Profile
gentlebutcrazy
I'm a 58 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
SingleNSearching60
I'm a 60 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 55 and 70.
View Profile
5star
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
Kiwiana
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 39.
View Profile
ekke_706
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
Marius_P
I'm a 40 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 55.
View Profile
Gambino_Family
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 42 and 70.
View Profile
TheRealMrRight
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 42.
View Profile
jsetrader
I'm a 58 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
reinor
I'm a 58 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 61.
View Profile
pieterl
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 62.
View Profile
cccdovy
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 56.
View Profile
Denali
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 40.
View Profile
ClassicRocker
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 42 and 52.
View Profile
ScottRanger1987
I'm a 27 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 30.
View Profile
BossMorne
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
OohCharles
I'm a 53 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Andy_Leo
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile

Business Directory