SA, Zim accord

IN a bid to protect undocumented workers in the country, Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana and his Zimbabwean counterpart, Pauline Mupariwa, yesterday discussed ways to improve the working conditions of migrant workers from the two countries.

The discussions took place at Beit Bridge.

Mdladlana said the discussions were also aimed at restoring the dignity of migrant workers who were vulnerable and less protected by labour laws.

Mupariwa and Mdladlana agreed to strengthen the regulations that protect citizens of both countries.

But a labour rights organisation in Musina told Sowetan that South Africa's labour ministry was to blame for the "reckless handling of Zimbabwean workers who were abused by farmers".

Musina Legal Advice officer Jacob Matakanyi said Zimbabweans were exploited and paid less than the regulated wages.

"Zimbabweans are still exploited. We hope the signing of this agreement will help solve the problems," he said. He called on labour inspectors to investigate human rights abuses on farms.

Mdladlana warned employers that hiring undocumented workers and failing to pay them could lead to their being prosecuted.