A focus on vulnerability and inequality in national conferences
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Since the national Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) held its National Summit on Vulnerable Workers in Somerset-West outside Cape Town to discuss better conditions for workers in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries industries in July 2011 very little movement on the resolutions had been observed. The summit brought together more than a thousand delegates from across the country and a host of political leadership, including President Jacob Zuma; Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Tina Joemat-Petterson; Cosatu Secretary General Zwelinzima Vavi; Premier Helen Zille and Agri SA President Johannes Möller. The Human Rights Commission report in 2003 and the National Land Summit in 2005 which preceded the 2010 Summit both considered the rights of vulnerable workers and the state of land reform in the country few recommendations by the Human Rights Commission or the resolutions from the land summit had been implemented to date. In the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors the long-standing inadequate protection of workers’ labour, land and resource rights are deeply rooted patterns and these categories of workers remain most vulnerable in the labour sector.