In the name of food production and profit
17 July 2012
The SACP in Mpumalanga is saddened by the total disregard of the lives of workers by those who employ them in different farms in our Province. The recent truck accident in Malelane is indicative of the treatment of farm workers as cheap labour, who like the oranges they were going to pick, they can be transported by trucks, with little safety measures.
We call on the Labour Department to investigate the farm where these workers are employed, in order to verify if regulations and labour rights of these workers are not violated by the farmer. This accident strengthens our resolve that the production relation in the farmland of our country should be radically altered if the dignity and human rights of our people will be restored.
We call on the Department of Rural Development and Land Affairs to speed up land reforms in our province. If the death of these farm workers( most of whom are the sole bread winners) will not be in vain, the agrarian reform should be made a priority of government and dealt with speedily. The lack of progress in land reform has embolded the rightwing farmers to think that our Government lacks the determination to carry through the national objective of restoring the land to those who were dispossessed by colonisation and apartheid.
We further call on all our people and progressive forces in the province of Mpumalanga to mobilise themselves to demand that land restoration and agrarian transformation be given the attention it deserves. The will never be any true liberation until all the land and the natural resources are restored in the hands of all our people.
As for the driver who lacked the decency of respecting the lives of those he had the responsibility to drive to work, by his action our people lost their lives and we believe that the law should take its course.