Today's Labour News

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farming thumb medium80 84Cape Argus reports that, while the bulk of Capetonians are making efforts to save water, some farmworkers in the Boland region have a “hunger for clean water”.  This is just one of the issues that came out of the fourth Commercial, Stevedoring, Agricultural and Allied Workers’ Union (CSAAWU) congress.  

Danielle de Witt stays on a wine farm and said some farmworkers were too scared to complain about their water issues as they feared losing their jobs.  “On our farm the farmer did install boreholes, but he said it is only for the toilets.  We have a big hunger for water; sometimes we have to steal the water from the boreholes."  She indicated that she was concerned for her children and their health and safety, as they had little access to safe drinking water.  “If people complain about the water, the farmer threatens to fire them, or his wife just tells them to boil it.”  Zwelinzima Vavi, general secretary of the SA Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu), told the congress delegates:  “I witnessed the abuse of farmworkers, including my parents, so you can imagine how I feel to address a congress of mainly farmworkers.”  He said that Saftu had now decided to make CSAAWU its number one priority and added:  “These vulnerable workers need trade unions more than any workers.  You do not need me to tell you about appalling conditions where farmworkers are abused, yet workers are defenceless against ruthless bosses.

  • Read this report by Yolisa Tswanya in full at Cape Argus

Get other news reports at the SA Labour News home page