Farm workers underpaid ,departments must intervene

Jacques Smalle MP DA Limpopo Provincial Leader The DA oversight visit to Sunningdale Estate located in Mogoto (Zebediela) has uncovered that the workers on that farm have only been paid for 5 months over a period of 15 months since November 2011. The other months they have to endure without salaries. The 84 hectors farm produces oranges, naartjies and vegetables and it employs four permanent labourers and more than 20 casual workers. Besides salary disputes, workers also complained about working conditions. The failure of the farm to pay electricity bills has a negative impact on the productivity of the farm. The farm was originally purchased under the restitution of land reform for the community of Mogoto. The DA believes that the Agricultural and Land Reform policy should indicate that successful farming requires not only money, but also access to agricultural extension services, training, and capital for land development. The DA views that there is a need for policy interventions to prevent unnecessary job losses and to intensify the financial viability and to attract greater investment in the province. We will be urging both the departments of labour and agriculture to establish the task team to address the challenges encountered by these workers and to come up with the recommendations on how best they can assist the farm.

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