Senzeni Zokwana part of the problem, not solution
1 June 2014
Recent revelations that the new Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana has been paying his cattle herder R800 a month and subjecting them to squalorous living conditions are simply outrageous (see City Press report).
Considering some of the exploitation that tends to take place in the agricultural sector, Minister Zokwana's employment practices are simply contemptible and deserve strong condemnation.
R800 per month may constitute a minimum wage violation and requires immediate investigation.
It is estimated that 44% of employees covered by minimum wage laws across South Africa get paid wages below the legislated minimum. Farmworkers bear the brunt of this, on average earning 35% below the minimum wage.
Clearly President Zuma has appointed yet another tone-deaf Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister who is out of touch with the needs of farmworkers and South Africans at large.
With an estimated R1 billion price tag, President Zuma's cabinet is clearly one that's far more interested in personal enrichment as opposed to empowering our people.
Profits should not mean the exploitation of people.
The DA has various policies to remedy some of the labour issues within the agricultural sector and will formerly propose them to both Minister Zokwana and Labour Minister, Mildred Oliphant, in due course.
Statement issued by Annette Steyn MP, DA Shadow Minister of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries, June 1 2014
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