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Op-Ed:The farm labour question – Fifty-fifty shades of obfuscation

Author: Andries Du Toit

Media attention on the content of the 2015 State of the Nation address has focused (among other things) on the announcement that government will push ahead with the controversial “fifty-fifty” policy on strengthening the rights of farm workers. 

This policy proposes that those who have worked and lived on a farm for ten years or more should by law get a proportional share in the ‘land’ or ‘equity’ on the farm. 

This has not been one of the South African government’s most well received or popular proposals. In fact, when it was initially announced it was met with consternation, and condemned by a wide range of stakeholders. Commentators pointed out that it was badly drafted, probably unconstitutional, difficult to implement, and unlikely to benefit farm workers in any case.

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