Farmworkers’ unrest could spread
A commission of inquiry is needed to prevent the unrest among Western Cape farmworkers spreading across the country, the Christian Democratic Party (CDP) has said.
“There are simply too many fault lines crisscrossing the country with the potential of spreading violence all over South Africa, especially if it is being instigated,” said CDP leader Theunis Botha today.
Botha said a commission of inquiry was needed as strikes by farmworkers turned violent this week in parts of the Western Cape. He said the conclusions of previous investigations into the problems in the agricultural sector were varied, often subjective and even politically influenced.
“At this stage, perceptions of what is going on are so diverse that finding solutions are almost impossible, feeding the prospect of a domino effect all over the country,” said Botha.
Yesterday, police used a water cannon and fired rubber bullets and stun grenades in an attempt to disperse thousands of strikers who pelted them with stones. The strike by seasonal workers to have their R69 daily wage increased to R150 resumed on Wednesday.
Agence France Presse (AFP) reported that 18 people were arrested yesterday, bringing the total to 62 this week.