Farmers to Blame for Xenophobia, South African Farmworkers Say

The South African National Civic Organisation and the Sundays River Valley Farm Workers' Forum have accused commercial farmers in the Eastern Cape valley of instigating xenophobia by ignoring the statutory minimum wage and bringing in workers from other countries to pick citrus fruit at lower wages.

In the Eastern Cape province, the towns of Kirkwood and Addo in the Sundays River Valley's citrus farming area, have been shut down for seven days by farm workers and community members. They are demanding a minimum wage of U.S.$1,88 an hour at all businesses in the town, promotions and a provident fund for farm workers, and a 70% -30% allocation of jobs between local and migrant workers.

The demonstration comes in the wake of a protest against a potential mass eviction crisis for farm workers after the the end of the National State of Disaster. Xenophobic action also saw a rise in violence after the killing of Elvis Nyathi, a Zimbabwean citizen who lived in Diepsloot, Johannesburg.

InFocus

A protest against xenophobia (file photo).

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