Year: 2006
Working paper number: 177
Author: Conradie, Beatrice
Unit: SSU

Du Toit & Ally's (2003) results on the casualisation of farm work in the Western Cape confirmed the worst fears of sociologists: Globalisation and or labour laws increased casualisation in agriculture. New labour data and a study conducted in 1976 allow one to revisit the casualisation result for the table grape industry of the Hex River Valley. Part I of this paper resolves imprecise definitions of regular versus permanent status, and of casual versus seasonal status. Part II examines casualisation and job shedding. Results show a decrease in the share of seasonal work and no change in the casual component of seasonal work. The job status of most farm women in the Valley improved as a result of legislative chances implemented since 1994. Outsourcing is present but insignificant at this point. On the whole data for the table grape industry of the Hex River Valley does not support the hypothesis that globalisation and labour market reform caused dramatic increases in casualisation.

Publication file: wp177.pdf