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Agricultural wages and employment conditions under spotlight

by lloyd last modified 2008-07-28 11:29

The crusade to improve livelihoods of farm workers kick started

Released by Department of Labour on 11 July 2008

The crusade to improve livelihoods of farm workers kick started on a high note in Jan Kemp Dorp near Kimberley, Heidelberg and Keimoes near Upington this week, when Labour Department officials conducted public hearings within the agricultural sector.


The hearings aim to review conditions of employment and wages in line with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA).


Virgil Searfield, Executive Manager of Employment Standards in the Department of Labour , said that the wage increase regime within the sectoral determination  will be coming to an end on March 31, 2009 and new wages are to be in place when the current one lapses. 


“In advising the Minister it is important that the Employment Conditions Commission (ECC) is well informed of the views of the social partners,” he said.


Other than wages and conditions of employment the review is focused on the plight of small farmers, minimum wages for the new entrants, task based work, annual increases, deduction and labour tenants.


The current wages for workers stands at R1090.00c monthly or R5.59c hourly.


The farm workers sectoral determination was launched in 2002 and was again reviewed in 2005.


According to 2007 survey the agricultural industry provides 8.8% or 1,164000 jobs, 55% of workers are male, and only 11% of them are unionized.

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