Around 1500 striking farmworkers are expected to return to work in De Doorns this week, the Food and Allied Workers' Union (Fawu) said on Tuesday.
General secretary Katishi Masemola said a call had been made for workers to trickle back to farms from Wednesday morning, in the spirit of ongoing negotiations for a higher daily wage.
"We call on all willing workers to be allowed back to work and those who dwell on farms to be allowed back to their residences. In short, no worker should be dismissed and all dismissals should be nullified."
Masemola said the decision was made during a mass meeting in the area on Monday night.
Farmworkers in the Western Cape went on strike last year, demanding that the minimum daily wage to be increased from R69 to R150. The strike was suspended in December, but resumed almost two weeks ago in various towns in the province.
There have since been conflicting calls by various unions and community leaders, either for the strike to be suspended, or for the strike to continue until farmers give in to protesters' demands.
Asked if Fawu would extend the call to other towns, Masemola said this depended on the sentiments of workers.
"The problem was that we were having mixed messages and many voices speaking. This can create confusion. We have to meet with our members in these areas first," he said.
Masemola said the union represented around 1600 farmworkers in De Doorns, although this could increase to 2700 after verifying the applications of new recruits.
He estimated the union's provincial farmworker representation was around 11 000 members.
On page Two... The agriculture department estimated the number of permanent and seasonal workers in the province at around 200 000...