The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Limpopo is urging the EFF to start constructive discussions with the owners of ZZ2 farms in Limpopo.
The EFF led a protest action outside ZZ2 offices on Saturday, outside Magoebaskloof, as part of its Labour Day Activities.
Amongst others, they want communities who say they were forcefully removed to make way for the establishment of the farms decades ago to be allocated shares of the fresh produce company.
DA head of politics in the Mopani district, Solly Malatsi has urged the EFF not to disrupt operations at ZZ2.
“At the time wherein job losses are ravaging our economy, it is important for political parties to constructively engage with employers to safeguard existing jobs rather than threatening them in the manner in which the EFF did yesterday. As one of the largest employers in the farming industry in the province, ZZ2 is a valuable contributor to the economy of Limpopo. If there are any concerns on how it conducts its businesses, the responsible thing to do is to constructively engage with the owners and management to get a first–hand understanding of the situation.”
EFF chairperson in Limpopo, Jossy Buthane has dismissed the DA’s suggestion that they enter into discussions with ZZ2 farms. Buthane says his party cannot take advice from the DA.
“We have written the letter to ZZ2. We have even requested several times to meet with them. So, it’s not up to them to tell us how we should fight our battle. It is the community that said they want to stop the trucks on ZZ2 until he behaves in a matter that is accommodative to their challenges.”
On Saturday, security was tight at the entrance of the ZZ2 farm’s offices. Police had been deployed to the offices.
The EFF and some local community members accuse farm management of diverting water from a river to the farm. They say this has made it impossible for residents of villages to access water.
Buthane says this is a follow-up to protest action they held a few weeks ago against ZZ2 for allegedly diverting water in rivers to its farms.
ZZ2 has denied the allegation that it is depriving communities of water, saying it has been sourcing water fairly.
ZZ2 is the country’s biggest exporter of tomatoes. It employs thousands of permanent and seasonal farmworkers.
ZZ2 farmer accused of contributing to water shortages in Giyani: