LIMPOPO, Tzaneen: Hundreds of farm workers were fired from Letaba Estate orange farm which is one of southern Africa’s largest single citrus fruit farms and now has over 1,500ha under cultivation. Fired farm workers were saved from sleeping out in the cold thanks to EFF Provincial Chairperson Jossey Buthane who swiftly intervened within minutes.
Owners of Letaba Estate which is renowned for exporting fresh oranges to many countries all over the world carried out their threat of firing these workers who had been involved in a strike over the unexpected reduction of their salaries from about four thousands rands to a mere thousand rands .
The workers downed tools on Monday before the management sent them letters to warn them about immediate dismissal if they did not return to work by Tuesday at 9am. As they continued with the strike on Tuesday the farm owners fired them and sent them messages to leave farm hostels before 6pm last night.
The farm workers called Media complaining that they do not know where to sleep for the night. They’ asked journalists to call EFF President Julius Malema to save them. Journalists immediately called Limpopo EFF chairperson Jossey Buthane who bravely said “i am taking action right now”. True to his promise Buthane instructed EFF Mopane Regional leaders to quickly intervene. Workers were immediately assisted and the farm owners were told never to exploit their workers again.
EFF Mopani Region later released media statement warning against the exploitation of farm workers and its will to forever remain on the side of the poor. EFF Mopani Secretary is expected to meet both the farm management and the workers to put the matter to rest for good.