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Fri May 22 22:38:13 CAT 2015

Industry corked by greed: iLIVE

Burgie Ireland, Johannesburg | 12 November, 2012 00:48
Striking farm workers blocking the N1 highway in De Doorns, Western Cape. File photo.
Image by: DENZIL MAREGELE/MEDIA 24

Wealthy wine farmers in the Western Cape should hang their heads in shame for paying their labourers a mere R70 for an 11-hour working day (The Times, November 8).

I learned the workers have to pay for their electricity and accommodation - a provision (including farm schools and clinics) that used to be a perk for farm labourers. What happened to consideration and fairness? Has wealth and greed made farmers blind to the fact that labourers are human?

I have always been proud of our South African vineyards and the heritage that has been handed down from generation to generation of wine farmers.

South African wines are well-known all over the world - but at a price paid by the workers. It's a shame the wine industry has a past smudged with a history of paying labourers with alcohol. Today's wages are just as insulting and as bad as slavery.

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