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Sun Apr 20 15:24:42 SAST 2014

ANC more interested in hurting DA than in helping farmworkers

The Times Editorial | 15 November, 2012 00:39

The Times Editorial: The turmoil on Western Cape farms that started in De Doorns has spread to several other towns. Yesterday, workers took to venting their anger at low wages a disturbing step further - resulting in one death and several injuries.

But, while government ministers try to find a resolution to the wage impasse, the political grandstanding continues unabated.

The ANC and its alliance partner, trade union federation Cosatu, have exploited the unhappiness of farmworkers and its outcome.

Provincial Cosatu leader Tony Ehrenreich warned that another Marikana massacre was on the cards.

Then ANC provincial leader Marius Fransman accused DA leader and Western Cape Premier Helen Zille of siding with the farmers and defending wages that workers could not live on.

On Tuesday, the ANC in Eastern Cape called for a boycott of South African wines to show solidarity with the striking vineyard workers.

The way in which the ANC has responded to the events is exceedingly cynical.

It smacks of political opportunism rather than concern or the will to find a solution to the violence that has already claimed one life.

The ANC has previously shown that its response to events in Western Cape is primarily about inflicting damage on the government of the one province that has eluded its rule.

Earlier this year, when residents of Grabouw turned on each other over the accommodation of pupils at schools in the area, Fransman was quick to incite residents.

When the provincial education department announced that it would close several schools, the ANC was quick to lead a march, even though there have been similar closures in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. Then, the ANC said nothing because those were its provinces.

Though Western Cape might be a sensitive issue for the ANC, stoking the fires of violent protest is an immature and inappropriate way of articulating its dissatisfaction.

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Sun Apr 20 15:24:42 SAST 2014 ::