SAnews.gov.za (Tshwane)

30 January 2013

South Africa: New Minimum Wage for Farmworkers to Be Announced

Photo: Sapa
Farmworkers march in Paarl, 4 December 2012

Pretoria — Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant is set to announce the much-awaited new sectoral determination for the farming sector on Monday.

According to the department, the announcement could bring finality to the issue that has dominated industrial relations in the past few weeks.

The minimum wage determination is set to kick off on March 1.

The announcement comes against the backdrop of violent strikes, particularly in the Western Cape area of De Doorns. Thousands of farmworkers have demanded a wage increase from R69 to R150 per day.

"The minister's announcement follows public hearings that were held across the country attended by farmers, trade unions as well as farmworkers at which very diverse views were expressed," the department said in a statement.

Labour and farmworkers stuck to their demand and said employers can afford the increase, while business and its representative body, Agri-SA, insisted that the demands were "unsustainable and will put workers out of a job".

The minister's announcement was preceded by a taxing process by the Employment Conditions Commission (ECC). The commission advises her on wages and conditions of employment which collated all the inputs from stakeholders before making a recommendation to Oliphant.

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