Browsing by Author "Chirima, Wilson"
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- ItemImmigrant labour: Employment of Zimbabweans as farmworkers in Ceres District, South Africa(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-12) Chirima, Wilson; Vorster, Jan; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Sociology and Social Anthropology.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The study seeks to understand the employment of Zimbabwean farmworkers on a fruit producing farm in Ceres District in the Western Cape Province of South Africa from the side of the farm management and the employees. Semi-structured interviews and observations were used to examine how Zimbabwean farmworkers secured employment on Stone farm in Ceres in a context of an oversupply of South African farmworkers in the area. More so, the study sought to understand how Zimbabweans are experiencing labour conditions on farms and farmers’ considerations regarding the employment and housing of Zimbabweans on Stone Farm. The study draws on insights from rational choice theory, social network theory, Foucault’s notion of power and Wolpe’s writings on capitalism to make sense of the employment of Zimbabweans on Stone farm. This study established that initially Zimbabweans found employment on the farm because of positive perceptions by farm management of these workers during a time of labour unrest amongst South African workers in the area. The workers that were first employed by the farm were already working on farms elsewhere and acquired that employment mostly through their networks. Zimbabweans joining the farm later got it through their networks on the farm. Even farm management use the networks of these workers to employ more Zimbabweans since they are perceived as hard-working labour as compared to their South African counterparts. This practice of recruitment also allows farm management larger control over the workers as many are relatives. Stone Farm is one of the few farms in the district close to town that is still providing accommodation to farmworkers on the farm. Although Zimbabwean workers experience this housing as cheaper and safer than in town, they were not fully happy with the nature of housing because it is overcrowded and there is a lack of individual privacy. Workers at Stone Farm do not earn enough to take care of themselves and their families back home. They are also experiencing discrimination in the workplace from fellow South African workers and farm management, mainly through language (Afrikaans) and race. They also do not enjoy the same protection under the law as they may be undocumented or do not have the necessary work permits. This leaves them more vulnerable than South African workers. The conclusion reached is that the employment of Zimbabweans as farm workers in Ceres, is the perpetual creation of a docile labour force on the farms. A recommendation of the study is that undocumented workers and workers without work permits should receive as far as possible the same coverage and treatment as South African workers by farm management. The UN, ILO, NGOs, and other human rights organisations should have this complex issue high on their agendas to work towards a more equal world and to address the dire political and economic situation in sender countries. Farms should follow a language policy that will cater better for language diversity of its workforce. Both management and workers should be trained how to handle diversity issues in the workplace. More studies are needed on the employment of workers from other countries by commercial farms in South Africa because the extent and implications for both foreign and local workers are unknown.