Farmers should decide workers’ fate – Agri SA

2012-11-16 10:56
Farmers whose workers are on an illegal strike across Western Cape should be allowed to decide on the most appropriate action against them, Agri SA has said.

“Lawlessness and criminal activities cannot be tolerated and the culprits must be held accountable via normal prosecution processes,” Agri SA labour committee chairperson Anton Rabe said today.

Employers should decide on what to do with striking workers, as the protest was not protected under the Labour Relations Act.

“Agri SA has also not agreed that no disciplinary action should be taken against striking workers and agitators,” Rabe said.

Protesters looted shops and set buildings alight in Swellendam in the Hex River Valley in Western Cape, police said today.

“We have received reports of unrest and torching of businesses, but the situation is under control,” Western Cape police spokesperson Lieutenant -General Andre Traut said.

He said police officers were monitoring the situation.

According to news reports this morning, roads in the area, including the N2, had been blockaded with rocks and burning tyres. eNews Channel Africa reported that shops were being set alight, protesters looted a bottle store and a butchery was torched in Swellendam last night and this morning.

Rabe welcomed discussions aimed at bringing the strike to an end, saying: “We are committed to constructive discussions that will ensure the profitability and sustainability of commercial agriculture in the long term.”

He said interested parties had to work together to restore business confidence and peace of mind so the country’s image could be restored.