Cosatu should only eat imported food
Farmers should not be misled by the partial lifting of the strike in the Western Cape , and they have to prepare themselves for large scale trouble countrywide, warns TAU SA president, Mr Louis Meintjes.
Mr. Meintjes referred to Cosatu’s Tony Ehrenreich who warned that “the war on land is coming soon” (see Die Burger report).
“It is clear that the dispute regarding compensation for farm workers is only used by Cosatu to charge them emotionally so that they are also useful for political actions, such as land reform.”
“The fact that the strike continues in De Doorns and some other places is inconsistent and is an indication that they are not honest with negotiations and that they are using the partial strike as means of an ongoing threat,” said Mr Meintjes.
TAU SA is also concerned about the government allowing Cosatu and the strikers to carry on with their unlawful behavior at the expense of farmers who have to suffer enormous damages as well as other law abiding citizens who are inconvenienced by it. It is unacceptable that criminal elements among the so-called strikers are allowed to close down a country’s main route by throwing stones or placing burning tires on the road. Government should follow a policy of zero tolerance against any crime. In this case where government’s alliance partner Cosatu is involved the breaking of the law seems to be permitted.
The ANC and its allies need to give the citizens of South Africa a clear answer on what their ultimate goal regarding food production on available agricultural land in South Africa is. The statements and actions of the ANC and its allies create uncertainty for agricultural investors and will result in negative consequences. Food production will necessarily be affected. TAU SA emphasizes that farmers cannot be held responsible for any possible food shortages and price increases which will result from these actions. In times of increasing unemployment this will make it even worse.
Mr Meintjes urged farmers nationwide to be prepared for any action that may result from the Western Cape and following Ehrenreich’s threats. “The sectoral determination is still in place. If individual farmers in the Western Cape negotiated their own compensation package, it is their right to do so. It must however be emphasized that those individual agreements are not applicable to the entire agricultural sector, and will not necessarily be made applicable to that extent. If increased new minimum wages are legalized the job losses in agriculture could even be more than the planned retrenc hm ents in the mining industry. Workers will also have to realize that if they demand more money, employers will insist on higher productivity,” said Mr Meintjes. An increase in wages without increase in productivity does not make sense.
Following earlier calls by Ehrenreich and Cosatu that Western Cape farmers’ products should be boycotted Mr Meintjes said he believes Tony Ehrenreich and his friends should walk the talk by not eating food produced locally by South African farmers in preference to imported food.
Statement issued by TAU SA president, Mr Louis Meintjes, January 17 2013