Workers slam conditions on farms

FA R M WORRIES: Workers’ representative Mziwoado Sume speaks at the Kirkwood meeting where various concerns were raised  Picture: BAZIL RAUBACH
FARM WORRIES: Workers’ representative Mziwoado Sume speaks at the Kirkwood meeting where various concerns were raised
Picture: BAZIL RAUBACH

CCMA to be approached over claims of safety worries, no overtime pay

Farm owners in the Sundays River Valley are putting their workers’ lives at risk while also forcing their staff to live in absolute squalor.

This is the collective view of more than 100 farm workers who attended a land reform programme organised by organisations, including the Khanyisa Education and Development Trust, in Kirkwood on Saturday.

Farm workers used the event at Rietberg Primary School to describe how protective gear was only handed out when inspectors came by.

They also complained about living in squalor and being forced to work on most public holidays. Sundays River Valley Workers’ Forum chairman Vuyisile Sikani, 39, of Addo, said they were forced to work under unacceptable conditions.

“We are not supplied with protective gear. The protective gear that we are supposed to be given is locked up in storage, gathering dust,” he said, “The only time we get to see it is when inspectors are coming to the farm.”

Sikani said he worked with pesticides on a daily basis and was forced to use his own gloves and masks.

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