Minister Van Rensburg Challenges Farm Worker Abuse Allegations
Gerrit van Rensburg, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development on Wednesday, 2 March 2014 challenged Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson to provide proof of the allegations of farm worker abuse she recently levelled at the Western Cape agricultural sector.
The National Minister said Western Cape farmers are still paying workers with alcohol, and that the Western Cape is the leading province for human rights violations in South Africa.
“These acts Minister Joemat-Pettersson referred to are criminal transgressions, and the Minister is legally bound to provide the South African Police Service and the Department of Labour with the names of the alleged transgressors. I also want to know the names of these people, and if the Minister cannot provide real names, we will know she is a liar”, Van Rensburg said.
Van Rensburg said baseless statements, such as those uttered by the National Minister, is damaging to the South African agricultural sector. “As National Minister of Agriculture, it is her duty to act as the custodian of the sector. Instead she seems determined to destroy it. Her actions are equal to economic treason. The Minister does not seem to be able to differentiate between her responsibility as the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and her ambitions as an ANC politician”.