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Sikhula Sonke farmers trade union organizes protest against shareholder retrenchment


I decided to investigate the protest currently taking place next to the R45 on the open field next to the Franschhoek Winery for Flash Info Franschhoek. As I arrived I counted 10 people standing next to the road holding up hand made placards. I approached them and asked if I could speak to a representative to ask some questions. I was told to speak to a lady that was sitting in a white bakie that was parked just behind them.

I introduced myself and asked if it would be OK to ask her some questions and if she would allow me to do an audio recording of the interview.

She introduced herself as Henrieta Abrams, General Secretary of Sikola Sonke Farmers Trade Union.

According to Henrieta Abrams there will be more protester joining them after 5pm. They are planning on walking to Le Franschhoek Estate and where they intend to sleep outside the Le Franschhoek Estate’s gate. Tomorrow they are planning to walk back to field next to the Franschhoek Winery to continue with their protests until the early afternoon.

You can listen to the full interview on Soundloud on the following link:


The following was taken from their Facebook Page:

“17 of our workers who are shareholders in Coure Trading one of the shareholding companies in Francshoek Estate has been retrenched and given the bare minimum severance pay as prescribed by law. The workers have gone through a similar retrenchment process 4 years ago where the BBBEEE project failed and they the 25 percent shareholders are the losers. We are out today until tomorrow evening on the streets of Franschoek (opposite Pick n Pay) a day from 5 pm tonight until 11 am 5 tomorrow we will be sleeping and protesting at the gates of the Multimillion Rand Franschoek Estate. Our aim is for Franschoek Estate to employ our workers permanently, and to draw attention to the plight of farm workers and the window dressing black empowerment projects that are being used to further exploit farm workers. Viva Sikhula Sonke Viva!!!! For further details contact our General Secretary Henriette Abrahams at 076 3783 842″

According to their Facebook Page description:

“Sikhula Sonke means ‘we grow together’ in isi-Xhosa. This young union was officially registered in 2004. It grew out of the Women on Farms Project that has been educating and mobilising women agricultural workers in the Western Cape since the early 1990s. Women on Farms decided to form a member-based farm women’s movement in the late 1990s. This led to the formation of the union, whose membership currently stands at close to 6,000 members, mainly women, many of whom are seasonal workers.”

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The photographs used in this article were taken from their Facebook page

– Monika Vermeulen, Flash Info Franschhoek


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