21 December 2012

South Africa: Benefactors Scramble to Fill WC Farmworkers' Stomachs

Photo: Sapa
Farmworkers march in Paarl, 4 December 2012

According to BDLive, the battle for Western Cape farm workers' hearts, minds is now being fought through their stomachs, with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries spending R10m to buy and distribute food parcels for farm workers who were not paid during the recent strike.

Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson promised that the workers' wage determination would be reviewed this month and, while the Department could not legally change the wages set, she called for food donations for the workers.

Joemat-Pettersson's spokeswoman Palesa Mokomele said on Thursday the department bought food and hired a logistics company to distribute it in De Doorns. Food had also been donated by companies through FoodBank South Africa. The R10m came from the Food Relief Fund, Mokemele said. Agricultural Workers Union secretary-general Nosey Pieterse told BDLive that about 6,000 families had received food parcels and a further 1,000 had been identified for assistance.

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