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farming thumb medium80 84GroundUp reports that about 70 people from organisations and unions representing farm dwellers and workers protested outside Parliament in Cape Town on Friday calling for transparency and consultation over regulations on pesticides.

This was not the first time the organisation has protested outside Parliament over the issue. The picket followed recent regulations by the former Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, which gazetted guidelines for exemptions on pesticide use. The department has now been split into two ministries, with DA party leader John Steenhuisen as Minister of Agriculture. According to Colette Solomon, director at Women on Farms Project, the process to date has not been transparent and has not involved farm workers and dwellers. Vainola Makan of the Surplus People’s Project said farm workers’ “right to health has been taken away”. In response, Steenhuisen said he would have an open door policy. “There is no need to protest. They are most welcome to meet me directly and raise their issues and concerns,” he indicated.   Organisations that joined the picket included African Centre for Biodiversity, the Commercial, Stevedoring, Agricultural and Allied Workers Union, South African People’s Tribunal on Agrotoxins, Sovereign Agroecology and Food Empowerment, and Ubuntu Rural Women and Youth. In a joint statement, the organisations also rejected the draft regulations for hazardous chemical agents of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, which falls under the Department of Employment and Labour.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Liezl Human at GroundUp


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