Africa-Press – Eswatini. Feedmaster, an animal feed manufacturing company based in the densely populated industrial town of Matsapha is allegedly paying employees R7.80 per hour, the workers are not allowed to join a union.
Eswatini has about 70% of the population living below the poverty line, this include workers who are ‘underpaid’ by employers.
The exploitation of workers and gross violation of international labour laws in eSwatini is perpetrated by the Government that approved Gazettes allowing companies to pay employees as little as One Thousand One Hundred Rands(R1,100),from the same amount, employers deduct Provident Fund contributions which are then looted by Mswati and his allies.
Labour Minister Phila Buthelezi had not responded at the time of compiling this report.
Vusi Mngometulu, the Secretary General of the Swaziland Manufacturing and Allied Workers Union (SMAWU) confirmed that workers at Feedmaster were earning salaries as low R 7.80 per hour while suffering unimaginable levels of abuse at the hands of their employer.
“Casual workers are not allowed to join our union so that they can be subjected to high levels of abuse.Some of them got permanently employed after the intervention of the Conciliation,Mediation and Arbitration Commission(CMAC) some time in 2018 but they are still earning R 7.80 per hour yet some of their colleagues are now earning around R18.40 per hour. Those who get injured at work are not compensated at all”, said the Secretary General.
Flip Lombard, the Production Manager at Feedmaster had not responded to our questions at the time of compiling this report.
Recently, Eswatini Government announced an electricity tariff, bread and petrol prices hikes with effect from April while salaries for workers remained low.