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Sun Jul 05 19:45:29 SAST 2015

White farmers obstructive: iLIVE

Sipho Masinga, Little Falls | 15 February, 2013 02:25
farmer harvests rooibos in the Cape
Image by: PICTURE: GALLO IMAGES

The recent backlash mostly by white farmers after workers' strikes is more about politics than economics.

It is a stance against the ANC government.

Most white farmers still regard their hold on land as a legitimate right above other South Africans. The unrest in the farm lands is the result of the historic failure of white farmers to meet the government halfway in the process of reconciliation and nation building.

The government has been tiptoeing on the issues of land reform and restitution.

White farmers have not grabbed the opportunity to show their patriotism by offering sustainable solutions to improve working relationships and conditions on farms.

They have been waiting on the government to do everything, and have opposed every move the government has made.

The basic wage of R105 a day still falls far short of a living wage. The government has been pragmatic on the issue and was supposed to have been met halfway by the farmers. Instead, the farmers have responded with threats of dismissals.

The messages from the leaders of organisations such as the Transvaal Agricultural Union are not constructive or conciliatory.

It is ironic that South Africa is becoming a food importer when we have so much land.

It has become a trend for many white farmers to convert their land into game farms to support their greed while the nation starves and imports food.

It is obvious from the above that the threat of mass dismissals of workers is nothing but white farmers digging in their heels on the land and showing the government and South Africa the finger.

There are a minority of white farmers who have embraced this challenge, such as Mark Solms in Franschhoek, and others.

We need more of these patriots to counteract the negativity of others.

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