Please tell us how?

I agree with the Chief Director of Labour Relations, Thembinkosi Mkalipi, that farm workers should be paid R300 per day to alleviate poverty.

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The ANC motto is ‘A better life for all’ and I agree with this. As a farmer I would like to pay all my workers R300 per day and change their lives for the better. This means their income would be around R6 000 a month with an annual income of around R72 000 a year. The most important question I have for Mr Mkalipi is where this money is supposed to come from?

I assume that anyone holding the very important position that he does is fully versed in all aspects of farming activity, that he understands the price fluctuations of farm produce, the effects of weather on farm profitability, or has a degree in farm economics and practical knowledge on how a farm really works.

I want to request that Mr Mkalipi explain, in detail, how farmers can afford to pay their employees the figure mentioned. If he was a farmer how would he go about earning enough from his farm to pay his employees the wage of R300 per day? Billions of rand is being paid to totally non-productive people in the form of grants. Would it not make sense to rather subsidise the productive people who produce the vital commodity known as food.

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If farmers were properly subsidised they could employ far more people at far better wages, produce far more produce for both local and export, pay more taxes and create a win-win situation for everyone. We would love to pay the kind of wages suggested but find it impossible to draw 20l out of a 5l container unless you can show us how this is done.