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Effects of non-existence of unions on employer-employee relations within land restitution programme farms: A case of Kranskop, (Eyethu farming and Ikhasi Agri farming).

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Farming sector in South Africa is not unionised as other sectors. In most cases, farms are union free and this eliminates negotiation and consultation processes on matters of mutual interest, which other sectors enjoy in terms of various labour prescripts enacted by South African Government. The intention of this research was to look at the effect of non-unionized environment on employeremployee relationship in Kranskop farms, Kwazulu-Natal. Special attention was paid to Kranskop area, in particular, land restitution farms, namely; Eyethu Farming and Ikhasi Agri Farming. These farms were bought by government through Land Restitution Programme and handed over to their original rightful owners, which are: eMabomvini and KwaHlongwa communities. The land returned was productive farms, therefore communities were expected to continue with farming practices to ensure that employment rate is maintained and stabilized within these areas as well as ensure that farms remain sustainable. These farms are non-unionized and are still fully operational and functional, hence the research focused on them. The mixed research methodology was applied and data was collected by the researcher through questionnaires. Due to educational level of majority employees, the questionnaires were completed by one hundred and seventy-two (172) respondents. A step-by-step completion of the questionnaires was undertaken with the assistance of the researcher. The sampling technique adopted was non-probability sampling, where all participants were given an equal opportunity to be considered as a sample during the study. The audience, in this regard, were employees cutting across all ranks available within each independent farm. In analysing data, all information sourced from both farms was grouped, analysed and portrayed in tables and graph illustrations. Investigation discovered that employees are not represented in any forum that deals with matters of mutual interest at the workplace, thus leaving the employer to take decisions unilaterally, without any consultation and inputs from labour. Findings showed that these employers are in compliance with most of labour legislations and regulations which is seen as a source of dispute, free environment resulting in high productivity and growth. Although these companies comply with labour laws, it is recommended that employees be involved on issues affecting them so that they can make meaningful inputs that might help the organisations to be more effective and efficient, resulting in overall growth.


Master’s degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.