The Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development wishes to send a clear message to all employers in the agricultural sector to observe the provisions of the state of disaster regulations and the recommendations for hygiene, social distancing and other measures necessary to keep farmworkers and others in the agriculture sector safe and to fight transmission risk.
Farmworkers are a pivotal link in the chain that keeps our nation healthy, ensuring adequate nutrition and food security.
The committee has been informed that some conditions of employment of farmworkers are being infringed upon by employers and the necessary transport arrangements are not observed. Employers must also ensure that adequate arrangements are made for basic hygiene practice and other basic provisions for fighting the Covid 19 pandemic.
Farmworkers and workers in the agriculture sector in general risk their health and those of their families to report for duty as essential workers. It is therefore vital that we care for them and their well-being.
We call on the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development as well as the Minister of Labour to send out a strong message to farmers that we will not tolerate the violation of the rights of workers. “We must work together to ensure their safety; we rely on them to feed the nation,” said the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Inkosi Zwelivelile Mandela.