TAU SA is highly upset about trade unions’ proposed public actions to expedite land transfer. “The country is still licking its wounds from the labor unrest in the mining industry, which led to the Rand experiencing near-record lows. Now there are threats of labor unrest in the agricultural sector,” said TAU SA’s General Manager, Mr Bennie Van Zyl. “It seems if the unions have the support of Pres Jacob Zuma, who stated in his reply to its budget debate that land has to be transferred faster from those who need to give land to those who want to have land. This creates a supportive climate for unions’ radical demands and sends a message that the country’s farmers must not expect any sympathy or assistance if the industrial action would turn violent. In addition, it is time that the Government sets an example by transferring the millions of hectares of unused land in its possession to those who say they need land,” said Mr Van Zyl.
“There is a political agenda behind the proposed actions of Numsa and Fawu. Numsa has nothing to do with the agricultural sector because it is the metal workers’ union. However, his president Cedric Gina is revolutionary outspoken in his unfounded, untested and untrue allegations about alleged ‘land transgressions, theft and violent land expropriations’ that would have occurred in the past “
Mr. Van Zyl notes that the unions concerned have section 25 of the Constitution in their sights. “The government needs to state urgently and in unambiguous terms where it stands in terms of the Constitution, and whether it is considering changing it in order to allow expropriation without compensation. Government will have to show whether it is willing to respect and uphold the Constitution, and whether it is going to give in to pressure from the unions,” said Mr Van Zyl.
Meanwhile, TAU SA urged farmers to intensify their security measures in the light of the impending industrial action by trade unions and to be intolerant against any act of insurrection or vandalism that would be a threat to life or property resulting from this action. “We as law-abiding citizens also have rights, and we also have the right to protect those rights,” said Mr Van Zyl.