Parliament rejects EFF motion to probe farm workers' living conditions

Aphiwe Deklerk Political reporter
The EFF has lost a motion to create an ad hoc committee on farm workers.
The EFF has lost a motion to create an ad hoc committee on farm workers.
Image: Gallo Images / The Times / Moeletsi Mabe

The ANC has blocked an EFF motion in parliament to create an ad hoc committee to look into the living conditions of farm workers.

During a sitting of the National Assembly on Tuesday, the ANC objected to the EFF’s motion, which called for an ad hoc committee that would “conduct a comprehensive review of the living and working conditions of farm workers in SA”.

The review would also probe remuneration, the eviction of farm workers from farms and also make assessments of legislation affecting farm workers and farm dwellers. It would also “make recommendations for legislative amendments to provide for more comprehensive protection of farm workers and farm dwellers” and “conduct public hearings with all interested and affected parties, including farm workers themselves, unions organising on farms and civil society organisations”.

But the ANC, which holds the majority, objected to the motion and proposed instead an amendment which commended the party’s legislative work done since it took over, which included changes to labour laws.

It also rejected a DA amendment to the EFF motion which also supported the creation of an ad hoc committee consisting of members from different parties represented in the National Assembly.

The ANC’s rejection of the motion comes as fresh spotlight has been shone on farms after the killing of Brendin Horner, a farm manager in Senekal, in the Free State.

Horner’s killing raised tensions, with farmers storming the court during a bail hearing of the suspect. A week later, the EFF descended on the small farming town, aggravating the situation further.

In their amendment, the ANC instead recommended that the portfolio committees of labour and employment, together with the rural development and land reform portfolio committee, should deal with the matters.

Reading the ANC motion, MP Judith Shabalala said parliament should rather direct the committees to conduct the review.

She said the two committees, together with the NCOP, should consult relevant stakeholders and set a deadline of November 30 2021.


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