Independent Online

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

35 farmworkers injured after truck overturns

Paramedics attend to the farmworkers injured when the truck they were being transported in overturned.

Paramedics attend to the farmworkers injured when the truck they were being transported in overturned.

Published Jun 22, 2022

Share

Cape Town - Cosatu is mulling the option of engaging their lawyers to investigate the possibility of instituting civil claims on behalf of the farmworkers after yet another accident involving 35 workers when the truck they were being transported in overturned.

The vehicle was travelling on the R45 between Klapmuts and Simondium near Groot Simonsvlei, transporting workers who are employed on different farms in the surrounding areas.

Story continues below Advertisement

According to ER24 spokesperson Russel Meiring, their teams and the provincial Metro EMS arrived at the site where they found numerous farmworkers seated and some walking along the roadside.

“Medics assessed the patients and found that one man had serious injuries while 34 others had minor to moderate injuries.

“Fortunately, no fatalities were found.”

Story continues below Advertisement

Police spokesperson FC van Wyk said an accident report was opened.

Cosatu said the government and farm owners had done nothing to protect vulnerable farmworkers who must travel every day in dangerous conditions.

The union’s provincial secretary Malvern De Bruyn said they would explore the option of engaging their lawyers to investigate the possibility of instituting civil claims on behalf of the farmworkers.

Story continues below Advertisement

“How many people must die before the farmers, the provincial and national government are going to intervene to ensure that farmworkers are treated as human beings and are being transported in safe modes of transport?” he asked.

De Bruyn said they were calling for the transportation of farmworkers on trucks to be banned.

“We are also calling on the law enforcement agencies to thoroughly investigate this matter to ensure that justice is served.

Story continues below Advertisement

“Cosatu is also calling on farm owners to look after the families of the injured farm workers and ensure that they are paid in full while at home due to injuries sustained in the accident,” he said.

Executive director of the Rural and Farmworkers Development Organisation, Billy Claasen, said last year more than 70 seasonal workers were injured near Klapmuts and the provincial government held a meeting where they as NGOs were not allowed to give inputs.

“Since then there have been numerous calls made to the police and provincial and local traffic officials to report overloaded farm trucks, but nothing has been done.”

Department of Transport and Public Works (DTPW) spokesperson Jandré Bakker said they were in regular engagement with role-players, along with their counterparts in the department of agriculture.

“DTPW has noted the crash and we are relieved that there weren’t fatalities. DTPW is concerned about the safety of all road users.

“We enforce all current traffic laws without fear or favour in terms of our mandate.” Bakker said that when a change in legislation was brought about by the national department of transport as custodian of legislation such as the National Road Traffic Act and National Land Transport Act, they would do their part in making sure it was enforced.

Anyone with any information about this incident can anonymously contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

Cape Times

Related Topics:

Share