Women farmworkers from across the Western province gathered outside Parliament on Thursday to have their plea heard over the lack of agricultural land being provided to them, and handed over a memorandum with their demands.
The farmworkers’ march took place on International Rural Women’s Day, which was held on Thursday. Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform Mcebisi Skwatsha was present to receive the memorandum from the Women on Farms project (WFP) which hosted the protest.
Skwatsha said: “I will do what is requested in the memorandum and request a meeting with the minister.
“The issues being raised are issues that I am assigned to do. We also understand the plight of women on farms as said in the statement. It’s important to remember that the government always targets women and women with disabilities.”
He said they would discuss the issues and make sure something better could be done for women on farms.
WFP said in its memorandum: “Women seasonal workers will be disproportionately affected, as our national statistics show that two out of three people who lost their jobs as a result of Covid-19 are women.
“We will see an increase in poverty and food insecurity in farmworker communities. WFP and the women it supports believe that it is only access to productive land that will enable them to generate sustainable livelihoods that are not dependent on insecure work on farms.”
Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza announced the start of the application process for the State Land release of Agricultural land on Thursday.
However, the farmworkers said they were not satisfied because the recent land redistribution plan excludes the Western Cape communities, leaving them with not much hope.
Source: Independent Online