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PROGRESS ON THE REALISATION OF 2010 VULNERABLE WORKERS SUMMIT OUTCOMES. DIRECTOR GENERAL. ROAD MAP. Background Resolutions of the 2010 Vulnerable Workers Summit Progress on the implementation of the Summit Resolutions. BACKGROUND.

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  2. ROAD MAP • Background • Resolutions of the 2010 Vulnerable Workers Summit • Progress on the implementation of the Summit Resolutions

  3. BACKGROUND • The vulnerability of farm workers in South Africa is as a result of many variables, but geographical isolation is a major influencing factor that deprives these workers the opportunity to access Government services. • Farm workers rely on their employers not only for employment and wages, but for services like schools, housing, electricity, access to medical facilities and transport. • The farmers therefore, have extensive control over virtually every aspect of the farm workers life. This notion places a strain on the fundamental right to decent work. • The National Development Plan identifies the need for investment in access to resources (land, water, education and skills) and poverty alleviation. However, problems facing farm workers still persists.

  4. BACKGROUND CONT The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries hosted a Vulnerable Workers Summit in 2010 to create a platform for dialogue among key stakeholders, including the farm workers themselves. Top at the agenda of the Summit was to bring the plight of these workers on the fore and enable Government to take appropriate strategies to restore their human dignity and empower them. In the main, the resolutions of Summit proposed four thematic areas in addressing the plight of Vulnerable workers in the country: Social determinants of health; Working conditions; Security of tenure; and Training and empowerment.

  5. OVERACHING RESOLUTIONS The Ministers of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Labour, Rural Development and Land Reform must amend relevant and applicable legislation to implement the resolutions. A moratorium to be placed on privatization of state assets. Establish a Vulnerable Workers unit at national and Provincial levels to work with relevant Departments in order to ensure that such units are found at local government level. The current Steering Committee that was established for the organisation of the national Summit will operate as a Delivery Forum. Call for the establishment of a Judicial Commission of Enquiry to look at the condition of workers in the Fisheries sector. Refine and implement the Forestry and Agri – BEE Charters and develop a Fisheries Charter

  6. PROGRESS ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RESOLUTIONS Subsequent to the summit, a representative Vulnerable Workers Delivery Forum was established to oversee the entire resolutions implementation process. The Delivery Forum comprised of the Director – Generals of the Departments of Labour, Health, Rural Development and Land Reform and DAFF, Heads of Provincial Departments of Agriculture, Presidents of farmer unions and trade unions This forum has since been in existence and coordinating the resolutions of the vulnerable workers. In November 2012 when the farm workers strike broke out in De Doorns, the Office of Deputy President salvaged the situation by holding 3 dialogues in the area. During the negotiations, the Office of the Deputy President learnt of the existence of the DAFF Delivery Forum.

  7. PROGRESS ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RESOLUTIONS A decision was taken that the same forum should be expanded and be assigned the responsibility of carrying out the resolutions of the Deputy President dialogues over and above the summit resolutions. The forum was expanded to include government departments both at national and provincial levels, business, labour unions, civil society and farmer unions. DAFF was appointed as the lead department and the convener of this forum. The office of the Deputy President provides oversight to the activities of this forum. As part of the resolutions of the establishment of the broader forum by the Presidency, each department/ organisation was allocated responsibilities in line with both the resolutions of the summit and the dialogues. As a convener, DAFF coordinates the consolidation of the reports submitted by different departments for reporting at the forum.

  8. PROGRESS ON THE RESOLUTIONS Three dialogues spearheaded by the Presidency were held on 12 February 2013, 11 May 2013 and 1st November 2014, respectively, between farmers & farm workers representatives. The resolution of the 3rd dialogue was to develop a document (Social Compact) that will chart a way forward for the sector to “reimagine the future of agriculture”. The draft social compact document has been developed and has been consulted with some provinces.

  9. PROGRESS : SOCIAL COMPACT • Compact objectives: • To support strategic planning and implementation of opportunities in the country’s agriculture sector; • To help define a coherent long term framework to guide the planning and implementation of current and future sector and food security programmes to support a better life for all the stakeholders of the sector; • To develop synergies and complementarities between existing and new strategic analyses and knowledge support systems; • To facilitate peer review, dialogue, impact assessment, evidence based planning and implementation of sector policies and strategies; • To create opportunities for sustainable growth of the sector to contribute to economic and socio development; and • To facilitate, support and build on the commitment to the objectives of the AFF Vision. • To achieve a United, prosperous and transformed agricultural sector that contributes to food security for all.


  11. PROGRESS: SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH The responsible departments (Social Development, Health and Water and Sanitation) have reported the following progress: • More services have been made accessible to the workers, such as health care services like mobile clinics; • Emergency First Aid response (EFAR) training for the farm workers; • Registration of social grants; • Social relief of distress; and • Farm worker representatives are appointed to the Water User Association (WUA) Management Boards to ensure that their interests are addressed.

  12. PROGRESS: WORKING AND LIVING CONDITIONS • The Sectoral Determination introduced by the Department of Labour in 2013 made provision for employees to benefit on the following: • Contribution to the Unemployment Insurance fund (UIF) to enable workers to apply for maternity benefits; • Annual review of the minimum wage to respond to inflationary pressure; • New minimum wage of R105 per day came into effect as from 1 March 2013 as a good strides in improving the minimum wage; and • The Department of Labour is in the process of establishing provident fund for farm workers, currently, the department is engaging the National Treasury on modalities of the scheme.

  13. `PROGRESS:WORKING AND LIVING CONDITION Cont • To strengthen labour relations: • DoL conducted a number of blitz inspections and information sessions in the sector; • The Minister of Labour conducted Izimbizo for the sector and formed partnerships with Agricultural Unions to conduct information sessions in order to educate workers on their rights; • Current amendments allow the Minister to lower the threshold for trade unions in vulnerable sectors where it is difficult to recruit members; • The department of Rural Development and Land Reform’s Land Rights Management Facility has a specific project (Legal Services Project – LSP). This project makes a panel of legal advisors available to occupiers facing threats of legal or illegal evictions; and • The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has developed the Farm worker and Farm dweller Rights Strategy (201519) under the “Amarightza” (SEJA programme) which refines, deepens and expands the 2013-2014 strategy across farming communities in SA.

  14. PROGRESS: EMPOWERMENT AND TRAINING The responsible Departments for this thematic area are DAFF, AgriSETA, DHET and DBE: • Since the Summit, AgriSeta trains vulnerable workers through skills and Learnership programmes. One such training is Farm Together programme that targets Cooperatives (illiterate vulnerable groups); • DAFF and DHET’s Career Awareness Programmes incorporated programmes targeting rural schools and vulnerable workers; • DAFF allocates bursaries to children of vulnerable workers at high school level; and • Additional bursaries to pursue undergraduate studies in Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries study fields.

  15. CONCLUSION DAFF, in conjunction with the Office of the Deputy President, continues to coordinate the implementation of the commitments made by the different stakeholders. Although government departments are making progress more still needs to be done expeditiously. A need to channel collaborative efforts towards addressing the plight of the farming communities cannot be over-emphasised given its repercussions to the agricultural sector.

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