Strikes causing havoc

Western Cape farmworkers' strike disrupting traffic, deliveries

Western Cape farmworkers' strike disrupting traffic, deliveries
Farmworkers' strike continues

Traffic on major roads going through farming regions in the Western Cape continues to be diverted as the farmworkers' strike continues, meeting with alleged brutality from the police. 

It is harvesting time, but several marches were carried out on Thursday, 17 January, with a heavy police contingent accompanying them. The strike is affecting farm produce deliveries all over the region, according to various reports.

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) says it is investigating 20 complaints about alleged police brutality linked to the farmworkers' wage strike in the Western Cape.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) is also investigating the cases, which include an incident in which a teenager was allegedly shot in the eye by police after they chased protesters into the Stofland Informal Settlement in De Doorns on 14 January.

Three people have died since the strike began in November last year. The commission's spokesperson Melanie Lue-Dugmore told SABC News they need to assess which complaints fall within the mandate of the SAHRC as well as which the commission can investigate in terms of its complaints handling procedures.

She added: “Then there are some complaints that will be referred to other bodies. Example, issues related to unfair labour practices will go to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration, or instances of severe police brutality will be investigated by the IPID.”

Meanwhile, the Building and Allied Workers Union of South Africa denied claims that there is conflict among union leaders in the farmworkers' strike. The union says it was correct for the Congress of South African Trade Unions to suspend the strike in Clanwilliam where workers have gone back to work for R105 a day.

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