New Minimum Wage for Farm Workers Entrenches Improvement

The Commercial Stevedore Agricultural and Allied Workers Union is deeply disappointed at the new minimum wage increase for farm workers

The Commercial Stevedore Agricultural and Allied Workers Union (CSAAWU) is deeply disappointed at the new minimum wage increase for farm workers.

The South African Department of Labour last week released the minimum wage for farm and forestry workers for the period starting 1 March to 28 February 2019.

According to the Department of Labour, the 2018 to 2019 minimum wages in the agricultural sector are as follow:

  • Monthly: R3 169, 19
  • Weekly: R731, 41
  • Daily: R146, 28
  • Hourly: R16, 25

In all instances they fall below the national minimal wage requirements.

For CSAAWU the new recommendations from the Department are not only a slap in the face of farm workers, but an indication too that government has still not grasped the severity of the crisis of poverty facing rural workers. 

Farm workers have once again been left alone at the end of the remuneration chain in the labour market. 

The 5.6 percentage increase leading to the hourly rate of R16, 25 and the daily wage of R146.28 are not even near the new national minimum wage of R20, 00 per hour for all other workers and which will be effective from May this year. 

This new wage recommendation is a direct impoverishment of farm workers, which will leave millions of families to continue living under the bread line in South Africa.

CSAAWU will continue to fight for a minimum wage of R8 500.00 per month for all workers especially farm workers. 

Our call is on farm workers across South Africa to join CSAAWU to ensure we change the social conditions of rural workers in South Africa. We further call on all alliance partners in the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) and across the world to avail resources to prioritise the mobilisation of farm workers across South Africa. Hand in hand with our mother body SAFTU, CSAAWU will fight for the economic liberation of the working class in South Africa as well across the world.

Our important resolution at our Congress last year was to build CSAAWU nationally. We can only challenge this slave wage increases when all farm workers are being organised.

SAAWU will not rest until the lives of farm workers and their families are being freed from the slave conditions they live and work in. 

For more information and comment contact:

Karel Swart
National Organiser
Mobile: 081 729 7111


Deneco Dube
Deputy General Secretary
Mobile: 071 746 7551 

For more about the Commercial Stevedore Agricultural and Allied Workers Union, refer to www.facebook.com/vivacsaawu.