Pretoria: Delegates attending a stakeholder meeting with organised labour and agricultural organisations have agreed to establish a task team to follow up on the 2010 Farmworkers Summit resolutions.
Some of the 2010 summit resolutions are that government, employers and workers must work in partnership to ensure healthcare to workers in the sector.
In the interim, periodic mobile health and social services will be provided to workers.
The stakeholder meeting was part of the outreach programme currently being conducted by Ministers and their deputies. It aims to, among others, engage communities on the country’s migration policy and to promote peaceful co-existence with foreign nationals.
Attacks on foreign nationals
Government has sent out a strong message that violence will never be tolerated and that communities should isolate criminal elements.
Speaking at a meeting held in Pretoria on Wednesday, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Deputy Minister Bheki Cele said solutions are needed urgently to address the problems in the country.
He described the attacks directed at foreign nationals as embarrassing to the country.
“We cannot allow our people to do what they did to Emmanuel Sithole,” the Deputy Minister said.
Mozambican national Emmanuel Sithole was attacked and murdered in Alexandra during a spate of violence directed at foreign nationals.
Four men have been arrested for the murder. They appeared at the Alexandra Magistrate’s Court this morning. Their case was postponed to 4 May for bail application.
Also present at the meeting was the African Farmers’ Association of South Africa (AFASA). The association said nation building has to become part of addressing the problem. It also urged people not to take the law into their hands.
2010 Farmworkers Summit and resolutions
The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and the Department of Labour (DoL) had initiated meetings and public hearings following the farmworkers’ strike in the Western Cape.
The 2010 Summit was a successful exercise that allowed vulnerable workers to voice their grievances and to make a wish list of how they would want their conditions improved.
The objectives of the summit were to provide a platform for engagement and dialogue among stakeholders on issues pertaining mainly to farmworkers, farm owners and farm dwellers; to develop a common programme with clear goals and to give a voice to farmworkers to address the challenges they are faced with on daily basis.
Other resolutions from the summit included creating community policing fora as well as the establishment of mobile police stations; intensifying awareness campaigns to ensure workers are informed about their rights and ensuring that the right of freedom of association for workers is realised.
SOURCE: South African Official News