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Cosatu demands motion of no confidence against Zille

Sapa

The ANC and opposition parties should table a motion of no confidence in Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, Cosatu has said.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille. (David Harrison, M&G)

"The basis for the motion of no confidence is that the premier had by her own admission known about upcoming protest in the agricultural sector in the Western Cape," Congress of South Africa Trade Unions provincial secretary Tony Ehrenreich said on Wednesday.

He said Zille did not call farmers and labour together to deal with the threat and mitigate the risk. This was a dereliction of duty which had led to the deaths of two people, and the loss of millions of rands and investor confidence in the agricultural sector, he said.

Zille said the Democratic Alliance would welcome a debate on Cosatu's proposal. "That's fine, Cosatu must get its alliance partner in the Western Cape provincial parliament, the ANC, to propose the motion," Zille said.

"We will debate it at the first opportunity."

Cosatu claimed the premier refused to work with labour on various socio-economic problems in the province, and took sides in the labour dispute between farmworkers and their employers.

Protests about wages and living conditions started in De Doorns at the beginning of November and spread to 15 other towns in the Western Cape.

The protests started with table grape harvesters calling for wages of R150 a day. Most earned between R69 and R75 a day.

Zille left De Doorns after people became rowdy during her walkabout in the protest-hit area earlier this month. She rejected reports at the time that protesters had chased her away.

Cosatu also called for a debate between Ehrenreich and Zille on the "crisis" in agriculture in the Western Cape. – Sapa

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