Tunatazama - Community Monitors

CSAAWU union efforts lead to improvement in farm workers housing

Malizo Kwinana/Langerburg, Mpumalanga/080917

By Malizo Kwinana

In January this year, CSAAWU organisers in the Langeburg region, Malizo Kwinana and Deneco Dube, paid a visit to a very big farm, Angora, outside Bonnievale.

The CSAAWU representatives were invited by the farm workers as they wanted to know more about their rights and the importance of joining the union. Angora Farm is also a WIETA accredited farm.

A cracked and open wall at the house.
During their visit, Deneco and Malizo noticed that the housing for the farm workers were in a very poor condition. They immediately wrote a letter to the farm owner, Frikkie Oosthuizen, complaining about this and demanding a response.

Mr Oosthuizen responded to the letter promptly, acknowledging the poor state of the housing and saying that it had been identified as “a matter of high priority and will be addressed in the 2017 book year”.

The letter added that “temporary toilet facilities had been erected for the people’s use until their homes have been upgraded”.

Within two months of CSAAWU’s letter, the farm boss renovated and improved the housing for the workers.

In April, the farmer called CSAAWU for a meeting to show how the houses had been improved.

A new dwelling for workers.
The incident shows the importance of CSAAWU’s presence and work amongst farm workers, who are often not aware of their rights or afraid to speak up and demand an improvement of their conditions. VIVA CSAAWU, VIVA!