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Grabouw tense as 8 protesters arrested after clashes with police

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published May 14, 2019

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Cape Town - Eight people including a 57-year-old man were arrested for public violence after clashing with police at the worker's protest in Grabouw.

Police spokesperson FC Van Wyk said the eight includes one woman and seven males aged between 18 and 52.

In a statement released by the Commercial Stevedore Agricultural and Allied Workers Union (CSAAWU), general secretary Trevor Christians said their representative Karel Swart was among those arrested.

Christians said Swart was arrested shortly after addressing protesting farm workers and local community people, who came out to protest and had blockaded parts of the N2 highway.

On Monday, workers from Oak Valley Wine Estate demonstrated with placards, burning tyres and closed the N2 in both directions between Sir Lowry's Pass and Botrivier, demanding a R250 minimum daily wage, single quarter accommodation to be converted into family units, and all seasonal workers to be made permanent.

The protest erupted after it was alleged that Oak Valley Wine Estate rejected negotiations around workers' demands.

On Tuesday the situation was still tense in the area, which saw Law enforcement being deployed near Sir Lowry’s Pass, where protesters forced road closures by blocking traffic with burning tyres and rubble, and motorists had to be urged to make use of alternative routes.

Oak Valley Wine Estate's Managing Director Christopher Rawbone-Viljoen said after months of negotiations with CSAAWU, no agreement could be reached so far, despite numerous attempts to reach a fair and equitable outcome.

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Cape Argus

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