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South Africa offers new farm worker wage after strikes

Feb. 7, 2013 | 0 comments

South Africa's labor minister has announced a new minimum wage for farm workers after violent strikes swept through portions of the country.

Minister Mildred Oliphant said in a prepared speech that the new daily wage would be 105 rand (about $12) for manual laborers on the nation's farms. The minimum wage now is 69 rand ($7.80).

Oliphant said the wages would also be adjusted for inflation in coming years.

Farm workers had asked for 150 rand (nearly $17) a day. Last year, at least two people died in farm protests. Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets during a January protest.

Vineyards in the Western Cape province, where protests hit hardest, are key to South Africa's wine industry. Laborers also work on apple and other fruit farms.

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