KZN sugarcane industry strike: Agric MEC must urgently appoint task team

Francois Rodgers, MPL

DA KZN Spokesperson on Agriculture

The Democratic Alliance appeals to newly-appointed KZN Agriculture MEC, Cyril Xaba to urgently appoint a task team to investigate the ongoing sugar cane industry strike in the province, which has reached crisis level.

The cane industry plays a key role in KZN’s economy – the department cannot afford to allow this strike to spiral further out of control.

While the DA acknowledges the right of workers to strike, this must take place within the framework of the law.  We therefore condemn the recent spate of violence and destruction of property.

It is alleged that one cane farmer alone has lost almost a 1000 hectares of sugar cane after it was set alight by striking workers.   The unlawful destruction of property can only inflame the current crisis and cause further division between employer and employee in finding common ground on a wage settlement.

The DA appeals to union officials to ensure that their members refrain from further violence and destruction and begin to set the tone for wage negotiations in a spirit of co-operation.