Mildred Oliphant

The Department of Labour says struggling farmers who face being crippled by the new minimum wage are not applying for the reprieve it is offering them.

The new minimum wage of R105 a day for farmworkers – up from R69 – takes effect on March 1. Farmers who want the reprieve offered by Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant must submit their books to prove financial distress. It has been reported that hundreds of farmworkers are losing their jobs in Limpopo. Agri SA said struggling farmers were restructuring operations. They were not applying for the reprieve as it was “not practical”. The farmer would have to submit financials for a previous year, and these had nothing to do with the present year.