North West Premier Edna Molewa has expressed anger at the ill-treatment of a farmworker couple by their employer who kicked them off his property and gave them a mere R1000 and a packet of tobacco.
This after working a total of 80 years for him.
Molewa called on the Labour Department to take action against the farmer, Koert Groblaar, for the manner in which he remunerated and evicted Molungu Moalodi, 69, and his wife, Dora, 70, from his Vlakkoppies farm outside Mafikeng.
Groblaar terminated Moalodi's services and told him and his family to vacate the farm. Moalodi worked on the farm for more than 47 years herding 105 cattle while his wife worked as a domestic worker for 33 years.
Moalodi told Sowetan he was expecting a huge retirement package but Groblaar gave him only R1000 and a packet of Boxer tobacco.
Moalodi added that Groblaar only informed him about his dismissal last week, saying he had sold the farm and that the new owner would not require his services because he was old and sickly.
"The treatment of our elderly people leaves much to be desired. It is sad that since the advent of the democratic government, we have worked with resolute commitment to transform the ugly legacy of hopelessness and neglect, which constituted the reality of the masses of our people.
"We sought to translate into reality the ideal of a life of freedom and dignity for our people, as enshrined in our constitution, and treatment of this nature is highly unacceptable," said Molewa.
The premier said the couple would find it hard to lead a normal life on such a meagre package.
She urged farmers to exercise courtesy and give what is genuinely due to their employees.
"People who make valuable contributions and work tirelessly to put food on the table should be remunerated fairly," Molewa said.
"The department of labour should look into this matter and take appropriate steps. The department of social development will follow-up on this case to see how best they can assist the couple with appropriate grants."