The National Minimum Wage Commission has recommended that the minimum wage be increased by 1.5% above inflation. The commission is also of the opinion that the minimum wage for farm workers should be aligned with the national minimum wage.
Gernie Botha, legal adviser to Free State Agriculture (FSA), mentions that the chairperson of the National Minimum Wage Commission published their report and recommendations regarding the annual review of the national minimum wage in the Government Gazette of 20 November 2020.
The document also contains a request regarding written representations regarding the recommendations, which must be submitted within 30 days of the publication of the notice to the address details as indicated on the notice.
Botha confirmed that Free State Agriculture would also comment on the document. Members are requested to provide written feedback to us for inclusion in the feedback by Friday, 11 December 2020 at 16:00 to email@example.com
Improve your safety with these tips
Safety on agricultural land has been under the magnifying glass lately and with good reason! With the festive season upon us, farmers and farm dwellers need to show extra vigilance.
According to Dr Jane Buys, Safety Risk Analyst at Free State Agriculture (FSA), it is critically important that farmers sharpen their vigilance, observe what is going on around them and do not underestimate any suspicious activity or movement. It is also important that any information about possible crimes is passed on to local safety representatives so that it can be prevented.
These are some of the safety tips that farmers can heed to ensure better safety on agricultural land.
Buys further mentions that good relations between all stakeholders are essential. “This includes relations between the South African Police Service (RS coordinator and station commander), agricultural communities, neighbors, workers and residents on farms or smallholdings,” she says.
Alarm and camera systems also play an important role in preventing crime on farms and improving rural security.
Furthermore, communication networks must also be in place so that help can be called in case of an emergency. “Farmers, for example, must be connected to a radio network and have an additional cell phone or tablet in the house that has been charged and hidden. Other examples are the use of an application for monitoring such as by Fidelity ADT or another security company in your area,” says Buys.
According to her, it is also important that farmers are involved in safety structures or networks within the Rural Safety Strategy in their area. “You need to know who to contact and who your section leader is in the area, as well as information about the farm guard”.
Information must be communicated on a regular basis to curb criminal activities. Buys says it includes suspicious people or vehicles spotted in your area.
Proper access control of workers and residents to and from farms must also be done by farmers. “If there are any guests, make them part of your own contingency plan so they know how to act if an attack occurs.”
Finally, Buys mentions that tall trees, shrubs and dense beds around the property provide criminally good shelter. Gates and access routes hidden by dense trees, bushes, shrubs and flowers make it possible for criminals to hide behind them without being seen.
Inspections by Department of Labour – what farmers must know
The Department of Labour has reportedly trained about 700 new inspectors specializing in occupational health and injuries.
Gernie Botha, legal adviser to Free State Agriculture (FSA), says that members should take note and familiarize themselves with the documents that will be looked at when scheduling an inspection, with regard to the Occupational Health and Injuries Act of 1993.