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South Africa offers new farm worker wage after strikes

Published on February 5, 2013 3:01AM

Last changed on February 5, 2013 4:50AM

JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- 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 Monday 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.

Copyright 2013 The AP.


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