The United Democratic Movement (UDM) has taken note of the decision by the Minister of Labour, Mildred Olifant to set the new minimum wage for the farmworkers at R105 a day.
For decades farmworkers have had to put with working and living conditions that could be likened to modern day slavery.
The new minimum wage will help pull many farmworkers out of the malaise of poverty.
Whilst this achievement is worth celebrating, we are mindful of the fact that the new minimum wage is set at a rate far below the workers’ demand of R150 per day. Unless this new minimum wage is communicated properly to the farmworkers, it could result in further violent strikes in the farming sector in the future.
A longer-term solution, however, depends on the ability of the relevant stakeholders in the farming sector to work together to improve the general working and living conditions of farmworkers in South Africa.