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Striking farmworkers got only a fraction of their wages - or nothing

11 Dec 2012 06:39
According to TimesLIVE, many of the thousands of workers who went on a two-week strike for better pay last month got only a fraction of their wages or nothing.
When The Times visited De Doorns, in the Hex River Valley, last week, residents of the Stofland informal settlement - home mostly to seasonal farmworkers - complained they had not eaten for days.

Nosey Pieterse, president of the Black Association for the Agricultural Sector, said about 6000 families in the Hex River Valley participated in the strike. Pieterse said many workers lost two weeks' wages - about R700. Last week, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Tina Joemat-Pettersson said she met community leaders and unions concerned about the "lack of food for families". She called on South Africans to help the farm-workers with food to avert a crisis, adding that Christmas was a time for giving.

Apparently, some have heeded her call. Joemat-Pettersson's spokesperson, Palesa Mokomele said that Food Bank SA has pledged to donate food and provide distribution support. Its premises in Epping, Cape Town, will be used as a drop-off point. Anton Rabe, chairman of Agri SA's labour committee, told TimesLIVE his organisation was also willing to help. "We inquired earlier in the week on how we can help. [We are] awaiting feedback from the department."

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