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Department of Labour to conduct blitz inspections in the farming sector as part of its workers’ month programme

by Lloyd Ramutloa last modified 2017-05-12 10:13

11 May 2017

The Free State province has for so many years been known as the food basket of South Africa and the neighbouring countries.  This very same fact has been made possible by none other than farm workers who tirelessly work the fields to produce quality agricultural products.

It is against this backdrop that the Department of Labour in the Free State province felt propelled to, once more, turn its camera lens to issues relating to farm workers.

The Department will therefore conduct Blitz inspections in 9 farms in the Eastern part of the province as part of its month-long activities aimed at ensuring a meaningful commemoration of Workers Month.  These inspections will be conducted tomorrow, the 12th of May 2017 from 09:00 in the morning until 16:00 in the afternoon.

Identified areas include Ficksburg, Clocolan and Fouriesburg and three farms will be visited by labour inspectors for each town respectively.  Farm workers account for a high number of injury on duty incidents. Disgracefully, some of these incidents are not even reported to the Department and the Compensation Fund.

“Conditions within which employees in the farming sector find themselves continue to give an expression that feed into the narrative which says; a ‘farm worker’ is the epitome of what a ‘vulnerable worker’ is.  Due to the fact that they work in far-flung areas away from cities and towns, there is a myth that we want to dispel that their plight for better working conditions and their fight for a living wage tend to take longer to reach the ear of the authorities,” said Nomfundo Douw-Jack – Action Chief Director: Provincial Operations.

“As a result, the Department resolved to turn its attention towards farm workers and ensure that they also enjoy the same rights as those workers in others sectors of our economy,” concluded Ms. Douw-Jack.

The team that will be visiting the farms will consist of inspectors from the Inspection and Enforcement Services unit, officials from Unemployment Insurance Fund and Compensation Fund.  The Provincial Management Team will also be in attendance to get coal-face experience of what it is like to be a farm worker.

Furthermore, management will also get first-hand information on pertinent issues farm workers may want the Department to prioritize and device intervention mechanisms in response to the difficulties they continue to face on a daily basis.

ENDS!

Issued by: Josial Ramokoena

Provincial Spokesperson

Department of Labour: Free State

083 292 4018

josial.ramokoena@labour.gov.za


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