Twenty-eight female guards were unfairly dismissed by a security company because the client‚ Metrora.
A system to monitor the abuse of farmworkers and farm evictions was required, the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) heard yesterday.
The SAHRC is holding public hearings on the effectiveness of legislative and policy changes in farming communities.
SAHRC chairman Jody Kollapen said there were currently no "authoritative" databases to quantify these problems. "There is no way to characterise the nature and extent of the problem," he said.
The hearings are held partly as a follow-up to a 2003 study conducted by the commission, but also include an assessment of how changes in government policy since then have impacted on farmers and farmworkers.
Kollapen also noted a submission on the current lack of coherence between policy, law and practice.
Eric Watkinson, presenting on behalf of the Food and Allied Workers Union, referred to this issue as "disjointedness".
"There's a need for the integration of government programmes. We experience problems in getting government to tell us how to access programmes." Patrick Hundermark, of the Legal Aid Board, said that legal aid for farmworkers needed to be provided on a more sustainable basis.
"The major challenge is implementing legislation. Proper costing is necessary to ensure the sustainable realisation of farm dwellers' rights," he said.
The hearings continue. - Sapa