AYABONGA CAWE: Casual employees have little recourse in battle for rights
‘From an employer perspective, who should be providing a living wage in line with corresponding legislation?’
Wilhemina Segakweng (not her real name) arrives after sunset at the brewery and distribution depot for her 12-hour shift. When she leaves at 6am the next day, by her account she will have earned R60. Paid by the quanta earned in piece work, her pay is uncertain; it will depend on whether the forklift arrives to pick up the pallets and how many are moved. Segakweng works for CJK Labour, one of four labour brokers servicing Heineken’s Sedibeng Brewery. She is part of a group of workers at the brewery who approached the Casual Workers Advice Office (CWAO) to bring attention to their plight. Workers at Sedibeng brewery complain of mistreatment and poverty wages of R30 an hour on average, while some who are paid on a piece-work basis earn as little as R24 after a 12-hour shift.I put these allegations to Heineken SA’s corporate affairs director, Ntombizodwa Velleman, who made it clear to me that this was "the first time [Heineken had] heard of these allegations". She emphasised that it ha...