Today's Big Stories

'Minimum wage for farmworkers is disgusting'

The Rural and Allied Workers Union has objected to the Labour Department's 95 cent increase in the minimum wage of farmworkers.

Workers will now get R14.25 per hour instead of the previous R13.30 per hour.

The union's chief negotiator Nosey Pieterse described the increase as a "disgusting".

Listen to the full conversation from The Midday Report with Stephen Grootes:

They are getting R128 per day and this is totally disgusting.

Nosey Pieterse, Rural and Allied Workers Union chief negotiator

The increase doesn't even come to an additional loaf of bread that the farmworkers can buy in a day.

Nosey Pieterse, Rural and Allied Workers Union chief negotiator

Meanwhile, Labour Department spokesperson Mokgadi Pela on Thursday explained the drought had affected the decision for the sector.

We need to dispel the notion that the minister is uncaring.

Mokgadi Pela, Labour Department spokesperson

She has had to play a very important balancing act between the needs of the workers and the affordability by the sector.

Mokgadi Pela, Labour Department spokesperson

It doesn't help to give workers the increase when, a few weeks down the line, they lose their jobs.

Mokgadi Pela, Labour Department spokesperson

The other option was for the minister to withhold an increase in the wake of the current environmental situation in the country.

Mokgadi Pela, Labour Department spokesperson

This article first appeared on 702 : 'Minimum wage for farmworkers is disgusting'


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