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South African farm workers block roads in protest for higher wages

A farm worker points his fighting stick at police as if it is a gun, during a demonstration due to low wages in the town of Grabouw, South Africa, Wednesday, Jan 9, 2013. Striking farm workers on Wednesday set up barricades and threw stones at motorists and police in a South African province whose vineyards are vital to the wine industry, prompting riot officers to close roads and arrest at least 50 demonstrators, South African media reported. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

JOHANNESBURG - South African media say striking farm workers in Western Cape province are blocking roads in several areas as part of a protest for higher wages.

Eyewitness News cited a motorist as saying today that rocks have been placed on a highway near Grabouw town, and there is a heavy police presence.

Protesters are also demonstrating around the town of Wolseley.

The strikers are trying to prevent other farm hands from going to work. They want their daily wages to be more than doubled to 150 South African rand ($17.5).

Last year, farmers staged similar protests that turned violent, resulting in at least two deaths.

Many farmers work in vineyards in the area. South Africa is a major wine producer.


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