Cape Town - The ANC on Friday called on Western Cape farmworkers to suspend their strike.
“The ANC calls on Cosatu together with Fawu and Bawusa to facilitate the suspension and assist labourers to enter into talks in order to reach an amicable solution,” Western Cape African National Congress chairman Marius Fransman said in a statement.
Farmworkers in De Doorns. File photo: Tracey Adam. Credit: CAPE ARGUS
He said criminals had used the strike and ensuing protests to “loot and perpetuate violence.
“The ANC respects the right of workers to organise, but in the light of more goodwill amongst some farmers and unruly elements hijacking the present strike, the ANC calls for cool off time and room for talks.”
Fransman said farmers, under the auspices of Agri-SA, should use the possible suspension of the strike to hold talks with workers.
“This strike needs to end and a lasting solution found or the unintended consequences could mount on all sides.”
Fransman's comments came after the Congress of SA Trade Unions announced some farmers had agreed to settlement talks.
“The problem is not the minimum wage, but farmers who refuse to pay fair wages above the bare minimum. This has led to the untenable dispute.”
Meanwhile police were continuing patrols on the N1 at De Doorns, following the violence on Wednesday and Thursday.
The national road, which remained closed to traffic, was quiet on Friday. Rocks, glass and spent rubber bullet casings littered the road.
Police spokesperson Lt-Col Andre Traut said at least 118 people had been arrested across the Western Cape so far. - Sapa