'End migrant labour now'
Academic Mamphela Ramphele said farmers in Western Cape should respect skilled labour to prevent strike action such as the one raging in the Hex River Valley.
Ramphele was addressing a gathering at the University of Cape Town's School of Business yesterday.
Farm workers in the vineyard valley have been on strike for almost two weeks. They are demanding that their wages be increased from R71 to R150 a day.
"There is nothing wrong with seasonal work but if you have seasonal workers who are coming with skills, you've got an arrangement with them. You've got a different compact than picking up people from the side of the road," said Ramphele.
She said the use of migrant labour was destructive.
"Remember that Eastern Cape has got the most fertile land in the country but it is being washed away into the sea because no one is bothering about it," Ramphele said.
"That is why people come to your farms because there is nothing to do in Eastern Cape."