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Western Cape - Some Western Cape farmers are worried that their applications for exemption from the new minimum wage for farmworkers has not reached the labour department, it was reported on Thursday.
Agri Wes-Cape CEO Carl Opperman told the Cape Times he knew of more than 1000 provincial farmers who had sent applications.
However, according to Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant, only 900 forms had been received.
“We suspect the recent post office strike in Gauteng interrupted the delivery of the applications,” Opperman said.
He said farmers were waiting for the department's response.
Farmers who cannot afford to pay the new R105 daily minimum wage were allowed to apply for exemption, and had to submit their financial statements to the department as proof.
The new minimum wage came into effect on March 1. This was also the closing date for farmers' applications for exemption.
Farmworkers went on strike last year, demanding that the minimum daily wage be increased from R69 to R150, and that a cohesive land reform programme be implemented.
The strike, which was accompanied by violence and damage to property in some areas of the Western Cape, was briefly suspended in December and was resolved in January. - Sapa