Wine farm might be guilty of discrimination, but equality court ...

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Wine farm might be guilty of discrimination, but equality court can’t judge

Workers say Grabouw estate’s single-sex hostels smack of double standards, but judge says it’s a matter for the CCMA

Cape Town bureau chief

Black workers who live in a single-sex hostel at a Western Cape wine estate have been told the equality court is not the correct forum to resolve their grievances.

The 42 men, all from Qumbu in the Eastern Cape, hoped the court would rule their accommodation is inadequate and that Oak Valley in Grabouw discriminates against them because it provides “family accommodation, of superior quality, to white and coloured employees”.

But Judge Owen Rogers said the equality court did not have jurisdiction to hear their case, which should be pursued under the Employment Equity Act. This would entail approaching the commission for conciliation, mediation and arbitration (CCMA) or the labour court, he said...

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