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Uproar over documentary exposing poor working conditions at SA wine farms

25 October 2016 2:41 PM

Retailers have been blamed for putting wine producers under pressure to meet market demands, resulting in worker exploitation.

A film about the lives of farm workers on South Africa's vineyards has revealed poor conditions that has been compared to new age slavery.

The documentary, which aired in Denmark and Sweden this week, has led to retailers removing South African wines from their shelves.

Experts have highlighted the importance of putting in place more stringent regulations to ensure employers compliance across the industry.

The Department of Labour doesn't have the capacity to monitor compliance on farms.

Margareet Visser, researcher at University of Cape Town

702's Azania Mosaka spoke to a researcher at Labour and Enterprise Policy Research Group at University of Cape Town, Margareet Visser, about the rights of workers and compliance by employees to follow labour law.

She said that retailers put pressure on wine producers to deliver in compromising situations and that the documentary polarised employer employee relations.

The pressure exerted by retail monopolies on producers makes it difficult for producers to pay workers a living wage, should have been highlighted.

Margaret Visser, researcher at University of Cape Town

25 October 2016 2:41 PM