Three farmworkers killed, as truck overturned in Philadelphia, Western Cape

Three farmworkers were killed when the truck they were traveling in overturned in Philadelphia, Western Cape on Tuesday morning.


The deceased were being transported along with 66 other farmworkers. Twelve people were seriously injured and 55 sustained slight to moderate injuries (including the driver)

Western Cape police are probing a case of culpable homicide.

Western Cape Agriculture MEC, Ivan Meyer, called on farmers and producers who are transporting agri workers to ensure the safety of their vehicles and the transportation of their workers.

‘’Agri workers are the key to the Western Cape’s agricultural sector. I am also calling for a full investigation into the circumstances that led to the death and injury of farm workers. My sincere condolences go to the families and friends of the workers who have been affected by this tragic accident."

Western Cape Mobility MEC, Ricardo Mackenzie, urged transport operators to do their part to ensure the safety of their passengers

‘’It is devastating that despite all our significant efforts to save lives on our province’s roads, this incident happened. Everyone deserves safe and dignified transport, to work, to school, to the shops. Our Mobility Department is working urgently to address the challenges with transportation in the Western Cape, and we need all transport operators to do their part to ensure the safety of their passengers. It is unacceptable that men, women, and children are still transported in unsafe conditions and drivers take needless risks.’’

“It has been almost two weeks since our Festive Season Road Safety Plan launch and the results thus far are not good when it comes to crashes and fatalities. We need an almighty, collective effort to turn this situation around before the busiest travel period starts. There are close to 600 Provincial Traffic Officers deployed across the Western Cape during this period, with a comprehensive programme of operations targeting speeding, drunk driving, fatigue, seatbelt use, and other critical road use actions that can make the difference between life and death. There will be serious consequences for those flouting the rules of the road and putting lives at risk,’’ he added.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in the Western Cape wants the South Africa Human Right Commission to investigate the matter.

‘’Once again, COSATU calls on the Minister of Employment and Labour, Thulas Nxesi, to enforce the ban on the transportation of farmworkers on trucks.  The Federation furthermore calls on law enforcement agencies to thoroughly investigate this matter to ensure justice is served,’’ said Malvern De Bruyn, COSATU WC Secretary-General.

ARCHIVE: COSATU's Malvern De Bruyn at Bush Radio

‘’It is critical that the farm owner take full responsibility for what has happened and offer compensation to the families of the deceased and the injured farmworkers. The Human Rights Commission needs to investigate this matter as we firmly believe that the rights of the workers have been infringed and tragically lives have been lost and many injured,’’ he added.


Done By: Esona Mfazwe


Popular Posts