Ricochet News

DA condemns violent wage protests by Kirkwood citrus farm workers

Jun 7, 2018
DA condemns violent wage protests by Kirkwood citrus farm workers

The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Thursday condemned the ongoing violence in the Sundays River Valley area.

The violence broke out last week over a wage dispute between citrus farmers and their workers.

"The South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) has forced workers to protest and are preventing workers from going to work. As a civic organisation, we believe that SANCO does not have the necessary mandate to act or negotiate on behalf of the citrus workers and that all workers should be represented by either their Unions or Workers Forum," said Karen Smith, a Councillor in the Sundays River Valley Local Municipality.

"Protests resulted in a shed being burned down as well as three tractors, which has resulted in a total shutdown of Kirkwood. The ongoing protests have also led to several arrests.

"We urge all workers to work with their employers in addressing their concerns instead of resorting to violence."

Smith said that, as the DA, they cannot condone any acts of violence or intimidation and would like to encourage a peaceful resolution.

"We need to ensure stability as incidents such as these impact negatively on the community at large."

Three suspects are expected in court after they were arrested by police in connection with the violence.