Cape Town - The Western Cape can possibly expect more farm strikes in the coming weeks, DA leader Helen Zille has warned.
“We are in a lull between storms,” she wrote in her online newsletter, SA Today.
Farming around several towns across the province was brought to a standstill between November and January when workers protested against low wages and poor living conditions.
Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant announced in February that farmworkers’ minimum daily wage would increase from R69 to R105 on March 1.
Zille acknowledged farmworkers lived under tough conditions, but said that during the strikes “ANC politicians sought to spread the unrest across the province for their political advantage”.
She said the ANC wanted to present the Western Cape as exploitative, racist and ungovernable, while its representatives were labour brokers who earned “super profits” from placing workers.
Zille believed the strikes were a golden opportunity for the ANC to drive a wedge between two strong DA support bases - farmers and farmworkers.
She based her accusations on discussions with farmers and workers.
Zille didn’t want to answer questions posed to her by the Cape Times on Sunday.
ANC provincial secretary Songezo Mjongile denied Zille’s allegations and said she was campaigning.
He said he wasn’t aware of any ANC members who were labour brokers. The party was not against the sector, it just had to be regulated.