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Johannesburg - A Limpopo farmer was slapped with a R28-million contravention notice on Wednesday for failing to comply with several labour regulations, the Department of Labour said.
“The compliance must be adhered to in 21 days and failure to do this will prompt us to take the matter to the labour court to make the compliance order an order of the court,” said deputy director Phaswane Tladi.
“We applied for variation because the farm owner provides food and accommodation freely, while it has been discovered that this is not provided on a consistent and regular basis as a condition of employment.
“The accommodation also does not meet the requirement as set out in the Sectoral Determination 13 of the Farm Workers Sector.”
He said the farmer, who owned over 20 farms in the province and employed over 2 000 people, failed to pay minimum wages as per the sectoral determination, failed to pay employees’ leave and had taken unauthorised deductions from them, between 2010 and 2011.
Tladi said the amount did not include the non-contribution towards the unemployment insurance fund (UIF) and the Compensation of Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, which stood at over R1-million.
“We will still have to look at aspects of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and after our observations, make further recommendations in this respect.”
Peet van Niekerk, the human resources manager at the farm who took the compliance order, said they welcomed the findings of the department.
The farm’s management would be notified and due action would be taken to remedy the situation, he said. - Sapa