OFM News bulletin: 8 August 2018
10:50 Thu, 09 Aug 2018
OFM News bulletin: 8 August 2018  | News Article
The MEC of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Free State, Benny Malakoane, has welcomed the adoption without amendment of the National Minimum Wage Bill or NMW by Parliament's select committee on economic development.

South Africa's Labour Minister, Mildred Oliphant, presented the amended Bill before the National Assembly on Tuesday. It was passed by an overwhelming majority. Malakoane says it is a step in the right direction.

The Bill provides for workers to be paid no less than R20 an hour while agricultural workers are set to earn R18 an hour for the first year and R15 will be stipulated for domestic workers. The bill will be sent to parliament’s upper house for ratification and it will become law once President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed it.

And... The Free State High Court has granted an urgent court order prohibiting access to a farm in the Virginia area by a group of community members. This comes after about 600 people who were believed to be from Meloding turned up at the farm at Christiana on Monday. They burnt veld in preparation to measure out stands.

According to information, a local councillor told community members that they can occupy the farm as the municipality is planning to buy the farm.  The farm owner, Andries Pienaar, alerted police who had to use tear gas to disperse the crowd.

The group then went on - to block the road to Winburg with burning tyres and rubble. They also pelted stones at police members. The road behind Meloding were also blocked. Pienaar's wife Gerda confirmed to OFM News that the court order was granted denying access to all three of their farms. Pienaar says the situation is currently calm on the farm. She also applauded police for their swift reaction and restoring calm.   

Meanwhile, police spokesperson, Thandi Mbambo says two of the 11 suspects that were arrested on a charge of trespassing were released on R500 bail. The suspects appeared in the Virginia Magistrate's court this week. Mbambo adds that the nine suspects remain in custody. They were denied bail because they could not provide prove of their nationality.

The case against them were postponed to next Tuesday when they are expected to apply for bail. 

Lastly...It is all systems go for the Northern Cape Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development’s Female Entrepreneur Awards. The Gala Event aimed at advancing the cause of women by honouring those who are leaving a permanent mark in the agricultural sector, is taking place tonight in Warrenton.

There are 29 participants in this year's competition which forms part of the Woman's Month celebrations. Categories include the best female farm worker, sub-sus-tence producer, and the top smallholder, processing, export and commercial entrepreneurs.

An overall winner will be announced and will receive prize-money of  R250 000. There is also special awards for both youth and the disabled.

OFM News

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