THE Western Cape farm strike took a dramatic turn on Thursday as the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said it had "exhausted its social and political capital" in trying to find a solution to the upheaval, and that the protests were now effectively "out of its hands".
Less than 10% of farm workers in the province, thousands of whom have embarked on violent action in support of their demand that their wages be doubled to R150 a day, belong to unions.
As with the strikes that swept the mining sector last year, organised labour has found itself wrong-footed in its attempts to negotiate on behalf of the workers and end the violence.
11.01.2013 / Agbiz in the news
The National Development Plan (Vision 2030) presents a way forward for agriculture, recognising the importance of commercial and smallholder farming and advocating a pragmatic, engaged approach, explains John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz.
South African agriculture again finds itself at a particularly challenging crossroads. While certain sectors and value chains may be in distress and declining (the wheat sector springs to mind), South African agriculture, from an economic perspective, has performed relatively well since the previous major crossroads of deregulation and liberalisation in the mid-1990s.
08.01.2013 / Agbiz in the news
TRADE and Industry Minister Rob Davies needs to ensure that there is a potential growth market for the fish products that will be produced by fish farming initiatives launched at the weekend, the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) said on Monday.
This appeal by Agbiz follows the launch of the aquaculture development and enhancement programme announced on Sunday by the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
The programme aims to promote investment in fish production and to support infrastructure development in an aquaculture industry through active farmer support and management programmes.
11.12.2012 / Agbiz in the news
Agri-sector Unity Forum (ASUF), as representative of all major agricultural unions, has noted the statement of clarification by the Minister of Labour, Minister Mildred Oliphant, on the farm worker sectoral determination, as well as noted with concern the responses by COSATU and FAWU.
ASUF again emphasizes its commitment to engage all relevant parties to address the labour unrest and demands with the necessary urgency and responsibility, while working within the prescribed legal and regulatory framework.
ASUF Media Statement»
COSATU & FAWU media reports»
Minister of Labour’s statement»
In the last few months, South Africa has had to contend with a wave of strikes – legal and illegal – in different sectors. Sadly, one of the defining features of these strikes has been the unacceptable and unjustifiable level of violence.
Let me take this opportunity first and foremost and condemn violence in any industrial action. Violence has no place in our society whose foundation as a democracy is based on intensive social dialogue. Nothing yet has proven to work better than the ability to negotiate and reach consensus.
Besides, violence helps neither the strikers nor the employer. Workers would still have to go back to the same workplace they thrash. In fact, even the legitimacy of the strike is called into question when violence is involved.
29.11.2012 / Media Releases