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June 1999, Volume 6, Number 6


South Africa is debating how to get farm workers in its northern provinces. Farmers sometimes hire illegal workers from Zimbabwe, who are willing to work for wages of R100 to R140 a month. Often the employer then fires the workers without paying them because they are illegal. At the same time, some farmers have been killed by their own or other local workers.

Northern Province Premier Ngoako Ramatlhodi said that farmers sometimes breed the resentment that leads to their murder by exploiting farm workers. The Northern Transvaal Agricultural Union counters that "Zimbabweans work harder than the local people... There are no local people who are prepared to work on the farms."

Botswana. The government of Botswana granted political asylum on May 11 to 1,101 Namibians who fled their homes in 1998 after Namibian security forces began cracking down on a separatist movement in the northeastern Caprivi province. Another 1,131 had been previously granted asylum.

"Erwin urges business to help curb illegal immigration," South African Press Agency, May 10, 1999. Khathu Mamaila, "Illegal farmworkers treated like slaves," Sowetan, April 29, 1999.