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Call for nominations for members to serve on the Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute Council

The Minister of Economic Opportunities hereby invites interested parties to nominate suitable candidates for appointment as members of the Council of the Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute.

The primary purpose of the Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute Council is to provide support to the Principal and staff of the Institute and to ensure that the Institute is properly managed. Candidates must be independent thinkers, have integrity and be able to provide strategic direction to the Agricultural Institute, Council and the Minister. Read more...


Sandile Mkhwanazi pens a new direction for the SA wine industry

2014 Veritas Young Wine Writer announced: l to r Bennie Howard CWM (Veritas), Daisy Knowles (runner-up), Sandile Mkhwanazi (winner), Christo Pienaar (Veritas)

Sandile Mkhwanazi, a young enthusiastic agricultural scientist, based at Elsenburg as assistant winemaker and acting viticulturist was crowned as an exciting new voice in the wine industry and winner of the 2014 Veritas Young Wine Writers Competition today.

For Sandile, who loves an exciting angle to every story, the fun part of wine is as important as the academic side of it. Keen to bring a vibrant and dynamic dialogue on all matters wine-related, Sandile said, "I've always liked to reflect wine as a fun part of life, not an academic study."

Sandile's two articles, The South African Wine Industry after 20 years of Democracy: An Overview of What Happened and with Special Reference to how we can Kick Start the Stagnant Local Market, as well as the more fun outlook with The Best Value Wine That I have tasted in 2014, have impressed the panel of judges with its wit, insight and enthusiasm.

According to the panel of distinguished South African wine writers – Dave Hughes, David Biggs, Samarie Smith, Neil Pendock, Cathryn Henderson, Danie Keet and Edo Heyns – the standard for this year's competition was extremely high.

"There was a clear distinction between those writers who presented grown up, well-balanced work and those putting the emphasis on poetic descriptions. An important requirement in our world today is the ability to understand the more serious, realistic business side of the wine industry and to clearly communicate that without neglecting the romantic side of it. This balance clearly distinguishes between the good and the bad."

"We would like to congratulate Sandile for his creative contribution and hope this will help to cultivate a culture of wine interest and knowledge in a new generation of readers and consumers and motivate more young people to become wine writers," says Charles Hopkins, Chairman of SANWSA.

The Veritas Young Wine Writers Competition, presented by the SA National Wine Show Association (SANWSA), aims to identify exciting new individuals within and outside the wine industry who can clearly communicate the wine message innovatively thereby generating increased public interest in all aspects of responsible wine enjoyment.

Top Western Cape Farm Worker of the Year for 2014 crowned


fltr: Antonia Xaba (Western Cape Department of Agriculture), Karools Paulse (winner 2013), Beverley Schäfer (Chair: Standing Committee Agriculture) , Jerome Thomas (winner 2014), Pieter van Zyl (Procurement Manager Freshmark/Shoprite) and Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities (photo by Gizelle van Wyk).
fltr: Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities with Jerome Thomas - winner (photo by Piet van Wyk)

Outeniqua kuddes ryg Stamboektoekennings in

SA Stamboek se Elite Suiwelboer van die Oos-Kaap prysuitdeling het in Oktober op die Outeniqua Navorsingsplaas plaasgevind.

Die Wes-Kaapse Departement van Landbou se kudde het die goue meriete toekenning vir beste genetiese uiergesondheid gekry asook 'n silwertoekenning in die Elite Suiwelboer van die Jaar Oos-Kaap. Die trustkudde het ook 'n silwertoekenning in die Elite Suiwelboer van die Jaar Oos-Kaap ontvang. (Die totale kudde bestaan uit 430 koeie in melk.)

Prof Robin Meeske, spesialis wetenskaplike: dierewetenskappe by die Department is baie trots op die voortreflike kudde wat 'n belangrike deel vorm van die Department se navorsingskapasiteit om melkproduksie vanaf weiding te verhoog.

"Die harde werk wat Pieter Cronje en Bertus Myburgh (tegnici) en die melkeryspan in die kudde insit het goeie vrugte afwerp. Die prestasie is moontlik gemaak deur die uitstekende ondersteuning wat die plaasafdeling lewer en ook die insette van die kundige weidingspan op Outeniqua."

Hul volgende teiken is 'n goue toekenning wat binne bereik is as die interkalfperiode kan verkort word na 380 dae en melkproduksie met 600kg per lakasie kan verhoog. Daar sal gefokus word op weidingtoekenning en om nog beter deur die winter te kom.

SA Stamboek is ‘n organisasie wat die  genetiese waarde van diere op grond van produksie bepaal. Hulle hou elke jaar ‘n kompetisie vir elite suiwelboere in die onderskeie provinsies gebasseer op melkproduksie, melksamestelling, interkalfperiode, melkhigiëne en teelwaardesvan die onderskeie kuddes.


Minister Winde hands over 108 household food gardens on World Food Day


Minister Alan Winde with Leentjie Hendricks,
a household food garden beneficiary

Leentjie and Minister Winde
plant a tree in her garden

Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute Brandy Excels at the 2014 Veritas Awards

From left to right: Lorraine Geldenhuys (Elsenburg), Marleen Bester (Van Ryn), Dr Winnie Bowman (CWM, International Judge), Brink Liebenberg (Distell), Christelle Raede-Jahn (Director: South African Brandy Foundation), Lourens Jonker (KWV).

Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute put in a stellar performance at the 24th annual Veritas Awards, presented by the South African National Wine Show Association.

They entered the Veritas Awards 2014 and earned a double gold medal in the Brandy category for the Cellar's 13 Year Old Potstill Brandy. This is a major achievement and milestone for the College and the Western Cape Department of Agriculture.

There were a total of five double gold medals awarded to brandies from a total of 1767 entries. In the same category as Elsenburg, KWV led with two double gold and four gold medals. Oude Meester and Van Ryn each won one double gold and two gold awards.

To add to Elsenburg's achievements for the evening, its Sauvignon Blanc and Cinsaut received bronze in the White Wine and Other Cultivars categories respectively.

Lorraine Geldenhuys, cellar master and Elsenburg lecturer expressed her gratitude to all who played a role in the bottling of the brandy.

"A special thanks to the Department of Agriculture that believed in our vision of bottling the brandy. I work with a remarkable team of colleagues at the cellar and we all have a share in this award. The feedback and excitement from the industry is astounding."

The B. Agric students studying Cellar Technology deserves a special thank you for their dedication, passion and interest in this course. Without the students it would be impossible to partake in competitions of such a high caliber and the hard work over the years has materialised in a double gold at Veritas.

Local and international wine and brandy buyers put a high premium on the Veritas results as the stringent and unbiased judging standards by specialist panels produce trustworthy results that act as a reliable barometer of quality.


Commentary from Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde, on press conference hosted by COSATU


LandCare Shines at Conference


Call for nominations to service on the Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute Council.

Afrikaans | English

SmartAgri project provides platform for long-term response to climate change


Minister Winde sets challenge to Western Cape Agriculture

Alan Winde, Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities, yesterday challenged the provincial agriculture sector to organise on a district level and devise plans to speed up land reform.


Minister Alan Winde looking forward to Western Cape Land Reform Summit

Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde, today announced that the Western Cape Department of Agriculture is all set to host a Land Reform Summit on the 22nd of September 2014.

The Summit will see government, industry role players and land reform experts come together to discuss the way forward for land reform in the context of the National Development Plan. The Summit will facilitate discussion on various land reform models as well the support initiatives needed to ensure its success in our province.

Minister Winde said: "I am dedicated to finding solutions that will encourage a greater degree of collaboration around land reform and as a consequence, increased uptake of projects. We are calling all players together to discuss what models can be put in place to boost and increase the success rate of land reform projects in the Western Cape. In addition, we will engage on the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders, analyse the challenges holding land reform back and discuss how government can best support these projects."

DATE: 22 September 2014
VENUE: Protea Hotel, Techno Park, Stellenbosch
TIME: 8:30am – 5pm

All media are invited. RSVP is essential as registration will take place. RSVP your intention to attend to Wouter.Kriel@westerncape.gov.za.
For media queries, please contact Tammy Evans on 076 941 9159.

Premier Excellence Awards

The Premier's Excellence Awards ceremony was held on Tuesday 9 September 2014.
The aim of these awards is to recognise and acknowledge extraordinary contributions to service delivery, which will help the Western Cape Government achieve its goal of being the best-run regional government in the world and to allow the people of the Western Cape to live lives they value.

Our success as a regional government is because of our hard-working, dedicated public servants and unique, innovative programmes and projects. We want to congratulate everyone and every project that was nominated, as well as those who recognised their hard work and initiative and nominated them.

The Western Cape Department received the following awards:

Congratulations to the programmes, managers and staff involved!

Minister Alan Winde visits local food gardens

Minister Alan Winde with the residents who run the Siyazama Food Garden

The contents of the suitecase handed over to the two food gardens

Minister Alan Winde announces Western Cape Land Reform Summit

Key priorities of the agriculture sector going forward - Mr Alan Winde

Western Cape finalist named SA's top female entrepreneur in agri-processing

Ilse Ruthford

Western Cape Department of Agriculture launches R3 million fund to seed growth in smaller industries

Dappie Smit, of Hortgro, and Minister Winde

Western Cape celebrates women in agriculture

Fltr: Ilse Ruthford (Processing), Jeanne Groenewald (Commercial), Minister Alan Winde (Minister of Agriculture, Economic Development and Tourism), Samantha Smiles (Ministerial Award), Eleanore Swart (Smallholder), Claudie Daniels (Best Worker) and Nomaxesibe Kweza (Subsistence).


Invitation to participate in the programme for YOUNG PROFESSIONAL PERSONS

VETERINARY NOTIFICATION - AHS - Veterinary Control Measures Relaxed.
AFRICAN HORSE SICKNESS - Public Situation Report Eight - FINAL : 17 June 2014

Download the full report here

Robertson AFRICAN HORSE SICKNESS - Public Situation Report Three : 29 May 2014

Download the full report here

Alan Winde, Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities addresses farmer and farm worker dialogue workshop.

5 June: World Environment Day - the Biggest Day for Positive Environmental Action

World Environment Day is the day put aside by the United Nations to encourage worldwide awareness and action for the environment. Over the years it has grown to be a broad, global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated by stakeholders in over 100 countries.

Why is this necessary? Our planet is facing a crisis of disastrous proportions. Mass extinction, rainforests rapidly disappearing, clouds of pollution spreading across the globe and whopping carbon footprints are only a few of the incredible environmental challenges we are faced with today. The numbers will blow your mind, for example, we produce enough trash to circle the globe hundreds and hundreds of times.

Your action, however small counts

World Environment Day also serves as a day for people to do something positive for the environment. How will you make your voice heard this year? Use tomorrow to make a commitment to recycling more, joining a lift club, planting a tree, organising a clean-up campaign for your area or making a regular contribution towards an environmental cause. It may seem small and insignificant to you, but if everyone does something, together we can make a huge impact.

We all face the same challenges and should unite in our common goal of ensuring a sustainable and prosperous life for all on this planet and the generations to come. Remember, we are only borrowing the earth from our children, so let's treat it the same as we would any other inheritance for them.


Welcome Minister Winde!

Mr Alan Winde
Mr Alan Winde was appointed as the new Minister of Agriculture, Economic Development and Tourism last week. We would like to welcome him to our Department and wish him all the best for his term in office.

Minister Winde previously headed the Finance, Economic Development and Tourism portfolios and has been a Member of the Provincial Legislature since 2000.

In a new innovation Minister Winde will lead the two departments (Agriculture as well as Economic Development and Tourism) to maximise economic growth and job creation potential in the Western Cape. Agriculture and Tourism constitute the backbone of the Western Cape's economy, with many other rapidly developing sectors in ascendency. As such, he views Agriculture as a serious business.

He will be visiting farmers, unions and agricultural role-players in the Province over the next month and a half to familiarise himself with the sector.

Elsenburg Scientist a Finalist for Prestigious Award

Prof Schalk Cloete

Finalists for the acclaimed 2013/14 NSTF-BHP Billiton Awards were recently selected and we are proud to announce that one of our own is among them. Professor Schalk Cloete Specialist Scientist, Directorate of Animal Sciences Elsenburg, and Professor Extraordinaire, University of Stellenbosch was chosen in the category Outstanding contribution to SET through research capacity development over the last 5 to 10 years.

It is an exceptional honour to be a finalist, given the quality of the nominations received, and the fact that all of them have made an outstanding contribution to Science, Engineering, Technology and Innovation (SETI) in South Africa.

All finalists will be presented with a certificate to acknowledge this achievement and are invited to participate in the discussion forum on the 6th of June at the 45th NSTF Plenary meeting, focussing on the UNESCO Science sector in South Africa. The meeting is to be addressed by the Director-General of the Department of Science and Technology, Dr Phil Mjwara, during the morning session before the Finalists' Ceremony.

"Prof Cloete has excelled as a mentor and human capacity builder of many post-graduate students over many years and this nomination is rewarding his relentless efforts to build young scientists in agriculture," said Dr Ilse Trautmann, Chief Director of the Programme Research and Technology Development Services.

Winners will be announced at a gala dinner to be held on 3 July 2014 at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park, Gauteng.

AFRICAN HORSE SICKNESS OUTBREAK - Public Situation Report Seven – 23 May 2014

Download the full report here

Western Cape AFRICAN HORSE SICKNESS - Public Situation Report Six : 2 May 2014

Download the full report here.

Robertson AFRICAN HORSE SICKNESS - Public Situation Report Two : 2 May 2014

Download the full report here.

Robertson AFRICAN HORSE SICKNESS - Public Situation Report One : 23 April 2014

Download the full report here.

Western Cape Farm Worker of the Year Competition for 2014 launched
Download the full press release here.

fltr: Johan van Deventer (left), General Manager of Freshmark, Shoprite Checkers' fresh produce procurement arm, and Gerrit van Rensburg, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, at the 2014 Western Cape Farm Worker of the Year Competition Launch.

AFRICAN HORSE SICKNESS - Public Situation Report Five - 14 April 2014

Download the full report here.

AFRICAN HORSE SICKNESS - Public Situation Report Four - 3 April 2014

Download the full report here.

Minister Van Rensburg challenges Minister Joemat-Pettersson on allegations.

Download the full media release here


Budget Speech delivered by Minister Gerrit van Rensburg.
Download the Press release here.

AFRICAN HORSE SICKNESS - Public Situation Report Three - 27 March 2014

Download the full report here.

AFRICAN HORSE SICKNESS - Public Situation Report Two - 20 March 2014

Download the full report here.

AFRICAN HORSE SICKNESS - Public Situation Report One - 14 March 2014

Download the full report here.

African Horse Sickness - fact sheet - Porterville Region, Western Cape Province

State Veterinarian Contact details:

Malmesbury (Dr S Davey) - 022 482 1380 - SewellynD@elsenburg.com
Boland (Stellenbosch - Dr G Buhrman) - 021 808 5253 / 083 642 0602 - GaryB@elsenburg.com
Epidemiology - Dr John Grewar - 021 808 5056 - JohnG@elsenburg.com



Two horses have tested positive for African Horse sickness on a holding situated between Saron and Porterville, south east of the R44. The affected holding falls within the AHS Protection Zone.

As a precautionary measure the following veterinary control measures via the establishment of CONTAINMENT ZONE are hereby declared in terms of the Animal Diseases Act, 1984 (Act 35 of 1984) and allied legislation:

  1. No horses, mules, donkeys or zebra (= equids) may be moved within, into, out of or through, specifically on the R44, in the area described below:

    • Northern border: The N7 running from the Berg river in the South West through to the Piekenierskloof pass in the North East.
    • Eastern Boundary: The Piekenierskloof pass in the North along the Oliefantsrivier mountain range south to the Grootwinterhoek mountains and south to Gouda along the Obiekwa mountains
    • Southern Boundary: The town of Gouda.
    • Western Boundary: Berg river extending from Gouda in the South through to the N7 in the North West.

  2. This movement ban will come into force immediately and will remain in force until repealed by a further order issued by Veterinary Services of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture.

  3. Movements of equids via the N7 on the boundary of this area may take but such movements should take place only during daylight hours, travelling straight through the area in a Northerly or Southerly direction without any stopping or deviation.

  4. All horses within this area must be stabled as far as possible from 2 hours before sunset until 2 hours after sunrise. In addition they must be treated with effective insect repellants to prevent midges feeding on them.

  5. All occurrences of horses becoming sick or dying must immediately be reported to the closest State Veterinarian (see contact details below) in order for Veterinary Services to investigate the possible cause of such disease or death.

  6. Infringement of these conditions may lead to prosecution in terms of the Animal Diseases Act.

  7. Any deviation from these requirements or non-conformances can be reported to Dr John Grewar, Chief State Veterinarian, Epidemiology, on mobile number 083 642 0610, or office number 021 808 5056, fax number 021 808 5126 or by e-mail at johng@elsenburg.com

State Veterinarian Malmesbury - 022 482 1380
State Veterinarian Boland (Stellenbosch – Dr. G Buhrmann-) 021 808 5253 / 083 642 0602


Western Cape Department of Agriculture establishes food garden at Boniface Primary School, Molsvlei.

Gerrit van Rensburg, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development on Monday officially handed over a R98 000 food garden to the Boniface Primary School. The school is in the isolated and rain scarce community of Molsvlei, in the Bitterfontein area on the border between the Western Cape Province and the Northern Cape.

Hester Riffel, Boniface Primary Principle, approached Minister van Rensburg when he visited Molsvlei earlier in the year, indicating that such a garden would be to the benefit of the school and the community.

Due to the water scarcity in the area, rainwater harvesting tanks; two tunnels, and a drip irrigation system were installed for this particular project.

Van Rensburg said he is confident this project will instil a love for the soil and for growing food in the students. "We need more young people to come and study in agricultural disciplines, as food security will become one of the most important issues for mankind in the near future"

Left to right: Gerrit van Rensburg, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development; Hester Riffel, Principle, Boniface Primary, Molsvlei; Mogale Sebopetsa, Chief Director: Farmer Support and Development, Western Cape Department of Agriculture.


Photo by: Wouter Kriel
Contact: Wouter Kriel
Tel. 021 483 4700
Cell. 079 694 3085
Email. wouter.kriel@westerncape.gov.za
Restrictions announced on DIRECT HORSE MOVEMENTS into the Western Cape due to outbreaks of AFRICAN HORSE SICKNESS throughout the rest of South Africa. Download the press release here and the Notice here.

Career Advancement and Development Opportunitiesto the unemployed youth of the Eden, Drakenstein, Overstrand and Witzenberg regions.

Download here.


Are you the next Female Entrepreneur of the Year?

All female entrepreneurs in die agricultural sector are hereby invited to apply for the Female Entrepreneur Awards.

For more information or to enter this exciting competition please contact Gizelle van Wyk on 021 808 5022 or email.

Closing date for entries is 6 May 2014.


Van Rensburg welcomes first year students to Elsenburg

Gerrit van Rensburg, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development welcomed the 2014 First Year students to the Elsenburg College on Friday, 24th of January. This year saw 64 students enrolling for the Higher Certificate, and 87 for the B.Agric Degree. The Department provided 33 Students with study bursaries to the value of R570 000. Read more...

From left: Carl Meissenheimer, First Year Student in the Higher Certificate Programme; Sasha-Lee Philander, Equine Studies; Gerrit van Rensburg, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development; Nicolette Prins, FET Programme; Charlize Loois, First Year Student in the B. Agric Programme and Mr Marius Paulse, Chief Director, Structured Agricultural Education and Training (Elsenburg)

PHOTO TAKEN BY: Aniela Saaiman


Reaching out to isolated communities

Gerrit van Rensburg, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development today visited far flung and isolated farming communities in the Bitterfontein area; the most northern part of the Provence, situated on the West Coast. Read more...

Left to right: Willem Fortuin, Hardeveld Farmers Union; Gerrit van Rensburg, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development; Albie Pool, Bitterfontein Agricultural Union.


Western Cape farmers donating generously to Northern Cape and North West Province

Gerrit van Rensburg, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development today thanked Western Cape farmers for their generous response to donate animal feed for the drought stricken Northern Cape and North West provinces. Van Rensburg said team work between the Western Cape Government; Agri Western Cape, and Transnet, is making this initiate possible. Read more.


Western Cape to donate drought relief animal feed to North Cape and North West Provinces

The Western Cape Ministry of Agriculture, Transnet and Agri Western Cape held a first planning meeting yesterday in order to send animal feed from the Western Cape to the drought stricken Northern Cape and North West regions of South Africa. Read more.