No new avian influenza infections in the Western Cape

There have been no new confirmed avian influenza infections.

Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, has announced that there have been no new reported infections in the Western Cape this past week, signalling a possible positive turning point for the indsutry.

There are currently 63 confirmed cases of avian influenza in the Western Cape. There have been no new infections at commercial farms since 18 October.

To date, 2.8 million commercial poultry birds have been culled. The majority of the birds culled were layer hens. In total, 121 363 broiler breeder chickens have died or been culled, and 28 717 duck broilers and 3 954 duck broiler breeders have died or been culled.

“We are still investigating a small number of suspect cases, but the infection rate appears to be slowing down. This is the first time since the infection started spreading in our province at the start of August that we have seen a marked decrease in the number of new infections. In other countries, infections for this strain of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza have decreased in summer, due to the heat.

“Our focus now is to rebuild our poultry industry. We are assisting farmers to make sure their poultry houses are cleaned, so that they are able to start the restocking process. Animal Health Technicians are supporting farmers in this process. I want to appeal to farmers to refrain from restocking until their poultry houses have been confirmed as clean. Restocking when the virus is still present will only lead to more culling.”

Minister Winde said the impact on food prices was being monitored.

“We have observed price increases, but we will only have official numbers next week when Statistics South Africa releases its Consumer Price Index. These figures will show us the prices for October.”

Since this strain of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza first reached South Africa in June this year, there have been in excess of 90 confirmed cases across the country. It is the first time the H5N8 strain has occurred in the country.

The Joint Operations Centre established by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and the Provincial Disaster Management Centre continues to meet to provide a progress report on the provincial government’s response to the outbreak.

A humanitarian relief plan is being rolled out in partnership with social organisations.


Bronwynne Jooste
Spokesperson: Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities
Responsible for Tourism, Economic Development and Agriculture
Western Cape Government
142 Long Street, Cape Town

Tel: 021 483 3550
Cell: 060 970 4301
Email: bronwynne.jooste@westerncape.gov.za
Website: www.westerncape.gov.za
Twitter: bronwynnejooste
 

Avian Influenza update - 1 November 2017

There are 63 confirmed cases of avian influenza in the Western Cape. We have had no new infections at commercial farms since 18 October.

Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, said the confirmed cases included 12 layer farms. To date, 2.8 million commercial poultry birds have died or been culled. We have lost more than 60% of our layer hens.

“Animal Health technicians are assisting farmers to make sure that poultry houses are properly cleaned to minimise risk of re-infection when re-stocking takes place. This is the first time this strain of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza has presented in South Africa. In other countries, the number of cases seems to decrease in summer, due to the heat.”

Minister Winde said he was aware that the National Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, was continuing their investigation into vaccination and potential compensation – both of which are national mandates.

Economists from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture are continuing to work on the economic impact of this outbreak through their mapping analysis.

The latest data on egg shortages, as well as the effect on food prices, will be complete in late November, when the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy releases its report.

The Joint Operations Centre established by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and the Provincial Disaster Management Centre will meet this week to provide a progress report on the provincial government’s response to the outbreak.

The humanitarian relief plan is being rolled out in partnership with social organisations.

Anton Bredell, Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (responsible for disaster management operations), said: “The Joint Operations Centre remains in place and is continuously monitoring the situation across the province. The use of the JOC has helped speed up vital processes and improve communications between stakeholders, ensuring that the outbreak can be tackled in a more efficient manner. Both matters are of critical importance when dealing with any disaster.”


For media queries, kindly contact:

Bronwynne Jooste
Spokesperson: Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities
Responsible for Tourism, Economic Development and Agriculture
Western Cape Government
142 Long Street, Cape Town

Tel: 021 483 3550
Cell: 060 970 4301
Email: bronwynne.jooste@westerncape.gov.za
Website:  www.elsenburg.com  |  www.westerncape.gov.za
Twitter: bronwynnejooste

 

African Horse Sickness vaccination season ends tomorrow

The African Horse Sickness vaccination season ends tomorrow.

Tomorrow (31 October 2017), the AHS vaccination season within the AHS controlled area in the Western Cape comes to an end.

Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, explained that the vaccination season is legislated by the National Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) to take place between 1 June and 31 October each year. Only registered AHS vaccines may be used during this time and it is illegal to use an unregistered vaccine.

“African horse sickness vaccinations are controlled in the AHS protection, surveillance and free zones of the Western Cape.”

Vaccination against AHS for horses in the AHS controlled area may only occur with written permission from State Vet Boland, and these permissions can only be granted for vaccinations that are planned within this time period.

AHS is spread by biting midges, and the vaccine used is a live virus vaccine.

The cause of previous outbreaks in the AHS controlled area has been identified as the spread of the vaccine virus between horses by midges. This is why the vaccination period takes place when the midges are least active in the area.

“The responsible vaccination against AHS decreases the risk of outbreaks in our region, which is to the benefit of our local horse population, and increases market access for our horses.

“As long as we do not have any further outbreaks of AHS in the controlled area, we will be eligible to apply for an audit by the European Union after June 2018, which is two years since the last outbreak. We are working to ensure there are no further outbreaks, either from use of vaccine outside the permitted times or from illegal movement of an infected horse into the area. I would like to thank horse owners, veterinarians and all owners in the equine industry for partnering with us to reach this goal.”


For media queries, kindly contact:

Bronwynne Jooste
Spokesperson: Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities
Responsible for Tourism, Economic Development and Agriculture
Western Cape Government
142 Long Street, Cape Town

Tel: 021 483 3550
Cell: 060 970 4301
Email: bronwynne.jooste@westerncape.gov.za
Website: www.westerncape.gov.za  |  www.elsenburg.com
Twitter: bronwynnejooste
 

R4million maintenance plan at Clanwilliam Dam canals stem water losses

In the current drought conditions, a R4 million maintenance programme to bolster the Clanwilliam Dam canal system to stem unnecessary losses has resulted in a more sustainable water supply to the agriculture sector.

Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, visited Clanwilliam and Vredendal yesterday (25 October 2017), where proactive maintenance is being completed on the canal system transporting water from the Clanwilliam Dam.

In terms of the agreement with the National Department of Water and Sanitation, the Lower Olifants River Water Users Association (LORWUA) is responsible for the maintenance and management of the infrastructure.

There have been several breaks in sections of the canal in recent years due to aging infrastructure. Technical reports since 2010 have stated the need to strengthen the dam wall but this has not been done.

“Although the maintenance of dam infrastructure is not the responsibility of the Western Cape Government, we have seen the negative impacts that canal breaks have had on the agriculture sector in the lower Olifants River area,” said Minister Winde.

“In 2015, we allocated emergency funding of close to R1 million to procure a generator and water pumps to stabilise the water supply to farms and residents in the area, after a section of the dam near Klawer collapsed. Estimates of the loss to agriculture for the 2015 incident were around R100 million. That is why we have committed to a proactive maintenance plan.”

The Western Cape Department of Agriculture is investing R4 million into the proactive maintenance plan.

According to the plan, the Department of Agriculture assists LORWUA in identifying the most critical areas for maintenance.

The Dam provides irrigation water to some 700 farmers irrigating 16 000 ha as well as water to the towns of Klawer, Vredendal, Lutzville, Doringbaai and Strandfontein.

“In 2015, we invested R1.226 million in fixing a 1 200m stretch near Verdeling. This year, repair work on a 1 600m tunnel section of the canal near Bruinkrans was completed.” This is the repair work Minister Winde inspected yesterday. In the next financial year, R1.5 million will be made available for the next phase of the proactive maintenance work.

“The Clanwilliam Dam is the main water supply for the local agriculture community. At the start of this year, a section of the canal broke and a temporary steel structure was put in place to replace the broken canal lining. During this maintenance period, we replaced this structure with a concrete lining”.

“As part of our proactive maintenance plan, three stretches of high-risk areas in the canal system were identified, and we’re pleased to report that these sections have already been  repaired.”

The maintenance programme started in 2015, and is set to be concluded in 2020.


For media queries, kindly contact:

Bronwynne Jooste
Spokesperson: Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities
Responsible for Tourism, Economic Development and Agriculture
Western Cape Government
142 Long Street, Cape Town

Tel: 021 483 3550
Cell: 060 970 4301
Email: bronwynne.jooste@westerncape.gov.za
Website: www.westerncape.gov.za
Twitter: bronwynnejooste

 

Update on avian influenza

There are 56 confirmed cases of avian influenza in the Western Cape . This is up from 50 confirmed cases last week.

Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, said the number of culled birds stood at 2.7 million, of which 2.6m were layer hens.

“There are just over 4.2million layer hens in the Western Cape, meaning we have lost 63% of our egg laying poultry.

“We have received reports that farms in Gauteng have started restocking, after their properties have shown to be 100% free of the virus. We will be monitoring this process closely. State vets in the Western Cape are also working with farmers to disinfect chicken houses. We can only start restocking at properties once there are no traces of the virus. We are calling on farmers to work with us in this regard.”

There are currently 144 ostrich farms under quarantine. No ostriches have been culled as a result of avian influenza.

The Western Cape Department of Agriculture delivered an update on avian influenza and its economic impact at a media briefing this week. Apart from the R800 million in production losses, a further R75 million loss in the cull buyer market is expected.

The Joint Operations Centre established by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and the Provincial Disaster Management Centre met yesterday to provide a progress report on the provincial government’s response to the outbreak.

The humanitarian relief plan is being rolled out in partnership with social organisations.

Anton Bredell, Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (responsible for disaster management operations) says the province is monitoring the ongoing situation on a daily basis and is working hard to curb the impact and any further spread of the disease in the province.

“Some shortages of poultry products including eggs, may be experienced in the province over the coming weeks as a result of the action taken to tackle the avian influenza. This was unavoidable given the extent of the outbreak. We are doing what we can to assist the industry to recover as quickly as possible.”


For media queries, kindly contact:

Bronwynne Jooste
Spokesperson: Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities
Responsible for Tourism, Economic Development and Agriculture
Western Cape Government
142 Long Street, Cape Town

Tel: 021 483 3550
Cell: 060 970 4301
Email: bronwynne.jooste@westerncape.gov.za
Website: www.westerncape.gov.za
Twitter: bronwynnejooste

 

Launch of The Dairy Farming Handbook

The updated and translated Dairy Farming Handbook was launched by the Programme: Research and Technology Development Services (RTDS), Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) on the 12 October 2017 at the Sandringham Agri-Expo Livestock event.

 

Based on the original “Melkbeeshandleiding” compiled by Dr Muller (former Specialist Scientist, RTDS) in 2008 and reprinted due to popular demand, the translated and updated English edition can reach an even wider audience. The purpose of the handbook is to offer information to farmers (both commercial and smallholder) to remain sustainable in spite of the fluctuating farm-gate prices and increasing production costs. Compiled by experts in their particular fields, the new English edition aims to support dairy farmers with problem focused information based on scientific research. Increasing the efficiency of milk production is critical under these circumstances; either by increasing production per cow or by decreasing the production cost of milk. To this end, the comprehensive Dairy Farming Handbook includes sections on the most important aspects of dairy farming: nutrition and feeding, housing, reproduction management, breeding, milk production and quality and health and biosecurity.

Dr Ilse Trautmann (Chief Director: RTDS) hosted the event attended by dairy farmers, industry stakeholders, university staff and students and members of the press.

Dr Carel Muller, former Specialist Scientist (RTDS) and editor of the Dairy Farming Handbook, spoke about his experience in dairy farming research and the history of the book. Mr Andre Van Heerden (SAMilco) expressed his enthusiasm as a sponsor of the book and encouraged farmers to use the Handbook as a reference. Mr Chris Van Dyk (MPO) thanked the team involved in developing the book and said “that the book must be on everyone’s table and in the dairy parlour’s as a valuable resource”.

 

The Dairy Farming Handbook will be available free of charge as a PDF on www.elsenburg.com, with limited hardcopies available.

Avian influenza on the rise

The number of confirmed cases of avian influenza in the Western Cape has risen to 50.

Since the regional outbreak was first confirmed in the province in August, 2.5 million chickens and ducks have been culled.

This includes:

  • 2.4million layer birds
  • 73 000 breeder birds
  • 32 600 ducks.

The Western Cape Government and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries are working at full pace to find solutions to the outbreak of avian influenza.

South Africa has been hard hit by this virus.

Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, this week was briefed by the Director-General of DAFF and DAFF’s Head of Vet Services.

“I have been advised that DAFF is still considering the industry’s application for vaccination. They are also finalising discussions on possible financial support. Here in the Western Cape, our officials will also be briefing Cabinet next week on the impact of threats like drought and avian influenza on agriculture. These issues will be considered when drafting our budgets for the coming financial year.

“This is a difficult time for our poultry industry.  Some farmers are faced with the possibility of having to close down their businesses. Workers are worried about their livelihoods, and being able to provide for their families. We know the impact on food security is also likely to be significant. This is why we are committed to working with DAFF and the industry to save our poultry industry.”

Minister Winde said the disease was spreading rapidly despite increased control measures, and that he had noted proactive steps by some farmers who had put additional special measures in place to curb the spread.

“Many farmers have been proactive with testing their flocks for early detection of AI and culling them quickly in response to positive tests. Some of the farmers have also bought and put down lime around their properties to try and prevent the virus from spreading.”

In response to this outbreak, which is the first of its kind in South Africa, the Western Cape Government has convened a Joint Operations Centre (JOC).

The JOC is being driven by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, the Provincial Disaster Management Centre, the Department of Social Development and the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning.

The Provincial Disaster Management Centre (PDMC) is assisting the Department of Agriculture (DOA) with the coordination of steps to mitigate the effects of the avian influenza outbreak.

Anton Bredell, the Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape, said the JOC ensures that information sharing and action steps happens accurately and quickly.

In addition the Minister has been alerted to false messages relating to avian influenza spreading on social media.

“Please take great care with messages that may be ill-informed and inaccurate and which may lead to unnecessary panic. When in doubt contact us for clarity.”

 


Media queries:

Bronwynne Jooste

Spokesperson: Minister Winde

060 970 4301

James-Brent Styan

Spokesperson: Minister Bredell

084 583 1670

Province-wide plan to respond to avian influenza outbreak

Today (2 October 2017), Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, and the Western Cape Government team driving the avian influenza recovery plan, briefed the media on the regional outbreak of avian influenza in the province.

Highlights include:

  • 36 cases confirmed
  • 70 ostrich farms under quarantine
  • In excess of 2 million birds have died or been culled
  • Early estimates project R800 million in immediate production losses to industry
  • A Humanitarian Relief plan is being drafted this week to support farming communities affected by the outbreak
  • Monitoring system in place to mitigate environmental impact

Please see the full media statement below:

The Western Cape Government has initiated a province-wide recovery plan to combat the impact of the avian influenza outbreak on agriculture.

To date, 2 million birds have been culled and immediate production losses of more than R800 million are projected.

Today (2 October 2017), Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, and the Western Cape Government team driving the response plan, hosted a media briefing on the status of the disease in the province.

In response to this outbreak, which is the first of its kind in South Africa, the Western Cape Government has convened a Joint Operations Centre (JOC).

The JOC is being headed by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, the Provincial Disaster Management Centre, the Department of Social Development and the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning.

Minister Winde said: “The Western Cape is the worst affected province in South Africa. In some regions, poultry production farms are clustered in a specific area. In other provinces, cases have occurred at locations far removed from these hubs.

“In the Western Cape, the outbreak has hit the Paardeberg area, the region with the highest concentration of poultry farms.”

Anton Bredell, Minister of Environmental Affairs, Local Government and Development Planning, said the Provincial Disaster Management Centre (PDMC) is assisting the Department of Agriculture (DOA) with the coordination of steps to mitigate the effects of the avian influenza outbreak.

“The PDMC is also in constant communication with the National Disaster Management centre and DAFF.”

Bredell said the PDMC has established a working committee that includes representatives from all the departments that could play a role in effectively managing the crisis, including the National Departments of Labour, Social Development, SASSA, Environmental Affairs, Economic Development, and others.

“A big part of what we’re busy with currently includes looking after the wellbeing of affected farmworkers. In this regard, the departments of Social Development together with DOA are leading the process. SASSA and Labour are also on board. In addition, the Department of Environmental Affairs’ Waste Management Unit is ensuring the safe disposal of carcasses on affected farms. These are some of the major initiatives at the moment.”

The JOC has initiated the following measures:

  • Requested the National Disaster Management Centre’s guidance to potentially declare the outbreak a provincial disaster;
  • Facilitating access to financial and training schemes for workers who have lost their jobs as a result of the outbreak;
  • The industry is liaising with the National Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Agriculture on vaccination; 
  • Agricultural economists have started mapping the potential impact of the outbreak on jobs and food security 

 The JOC meets weekly to share updates in the following key areas.

Economic impact

Lead: Department of Agriculture/Department of Economic Development and Tourism

  • Agricultural economists have started mapping the potential economic impact of the AI outbreak, and the Department of Agriculture is engaging industry and experts to provide further insights;   
  • Such an assessment is normally done only after the impacts of a disaster are fully realised. At this stage, due to the complexity and dynamics of the current situation, economists have high level estimates of the possible economic impact. These scenarios depend heavily on the specific assumptions made and how the situation will unfold in the coming weeks;
  • A conservative estimate puts the immediate cost of production losses of both hens and eggs in the region of R800 million, not counting additional costs of labour and materials to do composting;
  • The overall economic impact will be more significant as many of the farms will lose income for a prolonged period due to quarantine restrictions and time taken to get back to full production, with an anticipated impact on jobs;
  • In terms of egg prices, moderate increases in the short term are projected, which could likely return to normal levels relatively quickly. This is of concern as more than 900 000 households buy eggs in the province and another 1.2 million households buy chicken meat - the main animal protein source for the majority of poor households.

Environmental mitigation steps

Lead: Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEADP)

  • A monitoring system was put in place to deal with the environmental impacts of the treatment or disposal of the dead birds. This was done in partnership with the Department of Agriculture and national Environmental Affairs and municipalities. The emergency procedures in Section 30A of the National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998 is utilised to authorise the management option chosen by the owner of the farm/business; 
  • The procedure, a form to be completed by the farm and submitted to the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, allows for the monitoring of the biosecurity by DOA and the environmental impacts by the DEADP in collaboration with the municipalities in the affected area.

Projected socio economic impact

Lead: Department of Social Development (DSD)

  • The loss of jobs could lead to further pressure on the families of the affected farm workers. This could have a further impact on poverty and hunger, and substance abuse;
  • DSD will work closely with the Department of Agriculture and the South African Social Security Agency, doing assessments of affected families, so that they can be linked to social relief benefits;
  • A Humanitarian Relief Plan for the affected farming community will be drafted this week, in partnership with the relevant departments.

Update on latest cases

After a case is confirmed by positive lab tests, it is reported to the National Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF).

DAFF officially notifies the OIE (also known as the World Organisation for Animal Health) as well as our trading partners. The OIE then notifies its 71 member countries, so they may put preventative measures in place. 

In respect of the 36 confirmed cases, the formal notification process has been concluded, and the below cases can therefore be made public.

 

District

Species Group

Species

1

Central Karoo

Backyard/hobby birds

Chicken

2

West Coast

Backyard/hobby birds

Geese, chickens

3

West Coast

Backyard/hobby birds

Geese, chickens

4

City of Cape Town

Backyard/hobby birds

Swans

5

West Coast

Backyard/hobby birds

Chicken, duck, turkey

6

West Coast

Backyard/hobby birds

Chicken

7

West Coast

Backyard/hobby birds

Geese

8

Eden

Commercial ostriches

Ostriches

9

Eden

Commercial ostriches

Ostriches

10

Eden

Commercial ostriches

Ostriches

11

Eden

Commercial ostriches

Ostriches

12

Eden

Commercial ostriches

Ostriches

13

Eden

Commercial ostriches

Ostriches

14

Eden

Commercial ostriches

Ostriches

15

Eden

Commercial ostriches

Ostriches

16

Eden

Commercial ostriches

Ostriches

17

Eden

Commercial ostriches

Ostriches

18

Eden

Commercial ostriches

Ostriches

19

Eden

Commercial ostriches

Ostriches

20

City of Cape Town

Commercial poultry

Layer chickens

21

Cape Winelands

Commercial poultry

Layer chickens

22

Cape Winelands

Commercial poultry

Layer chickens

23

West Coast

Commercial poultry

Layer chickens

24

City of Cape Town

Commercial poultry

Ducks

25

City of Cape Town

Commercial poultry

Layer chickens

26

City of Cape Town

Commercial poultry

Ducks

27

City of Cape Town

Commercial poultry

Layer chickens

28

West Coast

Commercial poultry

Broiler breeder chickens

29

Cape Winelands

Wild bird

Peregrine falcon

30

Overberg

Wild bird

Guinea fowl

31

Cape Winelands

Wild bird

Laughing dove

32

Eden

Wild bird

Rock pigeon, Spur-winged goose

33

Eden

Wild bird

Guinea fowl

34

Eden

Wild bird

Blue crane

35

Overberg

Wild bird

Guinea fowl

36

West Coast

Wild bird

House sparrow

 

Please see a graphic of the confirmed cases here.


Bronwynne Jooste

Spokesperson: Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities
Responsible for Tourism, Economic Development and Agriculture
Western Cape Government
142 Long Street, Cape Town

Tel: 021 483 3550
Cell: 060 970 4301
Email: bronwynne.jooste@westerncape.gov.za
Website: www.elsenburg.com
Twitter: bronwynnejooste

Western Cape Government to update on avian influenza response plan

On Monday, (2 October 2017), the Western Cape Government will provide an update on avian influenza and the province’s response plan to the outbreak.

Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, will host a media briefing on the status of the outbreak. He will be joined by the Western Cape Government team who are driving the province-wide response plan to mitigate the impact of avian influenza on our agriculture sector.

Feedback points will include:

  • Update on latest cases
  • Draft economic impact
  • Potential socio-economic impact
  • Potential environmental mitigation steps

Details:

Date: Monday, 2 October 2017
Time: 12pm
Venue: Ministry of Economic Opportunities, 142 Long Street, Cape Town

 


For media queries, kindly contact:

Bronwynne Jooste
Spokesperson: Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities
Responsible for Tourism, Economic Development and Agriculture
Western Cape Government
142 Long Street, Cape Town

Tel: 021 483 3550
Cell: 060 970 4301
Email: bronwynne.jooste@westerncape.gov.za
Website: www.westerncape.gov.za
Twitter: bronwynnejooste

Latest on avian influenza in the Western Cape

There are 26 confirmed cases of avian influenza in the Western Cape.

Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, today (21 September 2017), released the latest on the status of the disease in the province.

“There are currently 26 confirmed cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), strain H5N8, in the province.  We are continuing to work with the private sector to mitigate the impact of the disease.

“By the end of this week, we estimate that around two million chickens and ducks would have been culled.

“The Western Cape Department of Agriculture has also partnered with the Provincial Disaster Management Centre to establish a Joint Operations Centre (JOC). The JOC is implementing our risk mitigation and support strategy.
“Part of the JOC’s focus is assistance to employees at affected farms, as well an investigation into the economic implications of the outbreak,” said Winde. 

This statement is the first of regular updates from the JOC.

Anton Bredell, the Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning oversees the Provincial Disaster management centre.

Minister Bredell has noted the input from experts handling the crisis who are stating that poultry products on the market are considered to be safe for consumption.

“We remain concerned about the impact on job security and food security given the sheer scale and speed this crisis is moving at.”

Minister Bredell says this is the first time that there has been an outbreak of Avian Influenza in South African poultry.

“Previous avian influenza outbreaks mainly affected ostriches.”

Ministers Winde and Bredell will be reporting on the progress of the JOC at a press conference early next month (Please see further details of the media briefing at the end of this release.)

Minister Winde said he continues to engage with the poultry industry on a range of matters, including vaccination.

“The decision to vaccinate can only be made by the National Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. A proposal for vaccination suggests the designation of vaccination zones or compartments in areas with a high density of poultry farms. Further insights into any possible trade implications would have to be investigated first by national.”

“I am engaging with Minister Senzeni Zokwana on this matter. AI has affected large parts of the country, and his department is providing the necessary guidance to the entire sector on overall measures.”

Minister Winde also reiterated the reporting process for AI.

After a case is confirmed by positive lab tests, it is reported to the National Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF).

DAFF officially notifies the OIE (also known as the World Organisation for Animal Health) as well as our trading partners. The OIE then notifies its 71 member countries, so they may put preventative measures in place.

In respect of the 26 confirmed cases, the formal notification process has been concluded, and these cases can therefore be made public.

Bredell has called on the public to report any dead birds to their local authorities, who will contact the provincial authorities specializing in the disease.

“This disease seems to be targeting all birds - poultry, wild birds and birds kept as pets. The public can also contact their closest State Veterinarian Office for further advice.”

Cases reported to the OIE, as at 19 September 2017

 

Area

SpeciesGroup

Species

SpeciesType

1

Heidelberg

Ratites

Ostriches

Commercial

2

Heidelberg

Ratites

Ostriches

Commercial

3

Heidelberg

Ratites

Ostriches

Commercial

4

Swellendam

Wild

Guinea fowl

Wild

5

Heidelberg

Ratites

Ostriches

Commercial

6

Cape Town

Poultry

Layer chickens

Commercial

7

Heidelberg

Wild

Rock pigeon, Spur-winged goose

Wild

8

Heidelberg

Wild

Blue cranes

Wild

9

Cape Town

Poultry

Ducks

Commercial

10

Worcester

Wild

Laughing dove

Wild

11

Heidelberg

Ratites

Ostriches

Commercial

12

Heidelberg

Wild

Guinea fowl

Wild

13

Caledon

Wild

Guinea fowl

Wild

14

Cape Town

Poultry

Layer chickens

Commercial

15

Heidelberg

Ratites

Ostriches

Commercial

16

Heidelberg

Ratites

Ostriches

Commercial

17

Oudtshoorn

Ratites

Ostriches

Commercial

18

Swartland district

Poultry

geese

Backyard

19

Beaufort West district

Poultry

Chickens

Backyard

20

Swartland district

Poultry

geese

Backyard

21

City of Cape Town

Poultry

Swans

Backyard

22

Bergrivier district

Poultry

Turkeys, chickens, ducks

Backyard

23

Swartland district

Poultry

chickens

Backyard

24

Saldahna Bay

Poultry

geese

Backyard

26

Swartland district

Wild

House Sparrow

Wild

 


Details of update media conference:

Date: Monday, 2 October 2017
Time: 12:15pm
Venue: Ministry of Economic Opportunities, 142 Long Street, Cape Town CBD

For media queries, kindly contact:
Petro van Rhyn, Head of Communications, Western Cape Department of Agriculture on 071 231 7576.

Or:

James-Brent Styan
Spokesperson for the Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell
Mobile:                   084 583 1670
Telephone:            021 483 2820
E-mail:                    James-Brent.Styan@westerncape.gov.za
 

Update on avian influenza in the Western Cape

Today(7 September 2017), Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities and the state vet team briefed media on the current regional outbreak of avian influenza in the province.

Highlights include:

  • 17 cases confirmed
  • 46 ostrich farms under quarantine
  • In excess of 200 000 chickens have died or been culled
  • Vets conducting province-wide survey and surveillance
  • Farms urged to put strict biosecurity measures in place immediately

The Western Cape Government today (7 September 2017) released an update on the status of avian influenza in the province. 

Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, and the state vet team deployed to deal with the outbreak, briefed the media at the Ministry of Economic Opportunities this afternoon. 

There are currently 17 properties which have been confirmed to be infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), strain H5N8, in the province.  

Minister Winde said: “We’ve made significant resources available in support of our quest to contain the spread of the disease. But, we need the cooperation of the entire affected sector – private and public – if we are to win this battle.”

After a case is confirmed by positive lab tests, it is reported to the National Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF).

DAFF officially notifies the OIE (also known as the World Organisation for Animal Health) as well as our trading partners. The OIE then notifies its 71 member countries, so they may put preventative measures in place.

In respect of the above-mentioned cases, the formal notification process has been concluded, and these cases can therefore be made public.

Detail below:

Area

SpeciesGroup

Species

SpeciesType

Heidelberg

Ratites

Ostriches

Commercial

Heidelberg

Ratites

Ostriches

Commercial

Heidelberg

Ratites

Ostriches

Commercial

Swellendam

Wild

Guinea fowl

Wild

Heidelberg

Ratites

Ostriches

Commercial

Cape Town

Poultry

Layer chickens

Commercial

Heidelberg

Wild

Rock pigeon, Spur-winged goose

Wild

Heidelberg

Wild

Blue cranes

Wild

Cape Town

Poultry

Ducks

Commercial

Worcester

Wild

Laughing dove

Wild

Heidelberg

Ratites

Ostriches

Commercial

Heidelberg

Wild

Guinea fowl

Wild

Caledon

Wild

Guinea fowl

Wild

Cape Town

Poultry

Layer chickens

Commercial

Heidelberg

Ratites

Ostriches

Commercial

Heidelberg

Ratites

Ostriches

Commercial

Oudtshoorn

Ratites

Ostriches

Commercial

 The following control measures are in place at the ostrich farms:

  • All farms within 10km of an infected farm are under quarantine;
  • Movement control of eggs and chicks is in place within the quarantined area;
  • Slaughter of birds only allowed after a farm has tested negative;
  • In total, 19 farms are under quarantine in Heidelberg and 27 in the Oudtshoorn area.

The following control measures are in place at the poultry farms: 

  • Positive farms are placed under quarantine;
  • Infected and in contact birds are culled humanely; 
  • Farm is cleaned and disinfected to deactivate any remaining virus before quarantine is lifted;
  • Increased monitoring and testing if necessary of all properties with birds in a 3km radius surrounding an infected farm

As a further control measure, the vets have this week launched an interactive survey with farmers and bird owners in the surrounding areas of infected properties. Properties who do not complete the survey, and who are within 3km of an infected farm, will be visited by an animal health technician.

Biosecurity is the most important method of preventing avian influenza from spreading. We are urging farmers to implement the following measures with immediate effect. 

  • Keep poultry and other birds away from wild birds and their body fluids, through keeping them indoors, or using screens, fencing or nets;
  • Access to your property should be restricted as far as possible;
  • Vehicles should be disinfected upon entering and exiting your property
  • Do not allow any people who have had contact with poultry in the last 48 hours onto your property;
  • The use of footbaths upon entry and exit to the poultry house;
  • Remove items that attract wild birds such as mortalities or spilled feed;
  • Preferably do not handle other birds, and disinfect your hands or any in-contact clothing afterwards.

Minister Winde said: “One of my biggest concerns is the impact of this outbreak on the economy. At just one farm, 96 jobs are under threat. Two affected poultry farms have also indicated they are considering closing down.

“We are aware of one major poultry company which employs over 2 000 people. There are an estimated 29 million birds in the commercial poultry sector in the Western Cape, and approximately185 000 backyard chickens.

“The ostrich sector provides around 15 000 direct jobs and indirectly 100 000 people depend on this sector for their livelihoods. Our economists have started mapping the Western Cape’s avian economy 

“We know the decreased supply of poultry products in the market will also put pressure on food prices; a further strain on households.”

To support workers at affected farms, where culling may have taken place,  the state vets are liaising with the Department of Social Development to ensure social workers are made available to support affected workers.

In terms of compensation to affected farms, DAFF is mandated to determine appropriate compensation, and is investigating draft compensation guidelines.

Recommendations from the OIE regarding the role of compensation in disease control  indicate  that compensation should only cover direct losses and do so at a level between 75% and 90% of market value.

Minister Winde said that worldwide, there had been no reported cases of people falling ill after being in contact with infected birds.

“Although we have no reported cases of people being infected with this strain of avian influenza, we are urging people in contact with infected birds to take precautions. We need the cooperation of the public to stop the spread of this disease.”

Poultry workers and abattoir workers and those who dress their own poultry are most at risk. People should only handle dead bird carcasses with gloves, or disinfect their hands after handling carcasses. Poultry products from grocery stores are safe for consumption.


Bronwynne Jooste
Spokesperson: Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities
Responsible for Tourism, Economic Development and Agriculture
Western Cape Government
142 Long Street, Cape Town

Tel: 021 483 3550
Cell: 060 970 4301
Email: bronwynne.jooste@westerncape.gov.za
Website: www.elsenburg.com
Twitter: bronwynnejooste

Bursary Applications are now OPEN!

Advert can be downloaded here.

DISASTER APPLICATION PROCESS

If you have been affected by disaster - please do the following:

  1. Receive the form by mail or hard copy from your Department of Agriculture office or download a copy here:  English  |  Afrikaans.
  2. Read the survey carefully and complete the form in detail.
  3. Return the form to the Department of Agriculture office within two weeks.

An official will contact you as soon as all forms for a specific disaster have been completed and you will be instructed as to the way forward.

Contact person:  Zaibu Arai  |  Tel. 021 808 5368  |  Email: ZaibuA@elsenburg.com

Documents can also be downloaded here:  Disaster Risk Management

 

Western Cape female entrepreneurs in agriculture win top awards

Two Western Cape female entrepreneurs have earned national recognition at the prestigious National Female Entrepreneur in Agriculture awards.

The winners were announced during a gala evening held in Mpumalanga on Sunday evening (27 August 2017). Provincial winners from all nine provinces competed.

Berene Damons (Tesselaarsdal Wines Pty Ltd), a winemaker from Hermanus, received the award in the category Top Entrepreneur: Processing as well as the Ministerial Special Award: Young Female Entrepreneur.

Carmen Stevens (Carmen Stevens Wines Pty Ltd) a winemaker from Somerset West, received the award in the category Top Entrepreneur: Export Markets. Stevens was the first black person to study and qualify as a winemaker in South Africa in 1995. 

Damons, a double-award winner, said: “I am so glad that through this competition women get recognition for their contribution to agriculture. I hope these awards encourage more young women to get involved in the sector.”

She said she will be using her R350 000 prize money as a deposit to buy land in Tesselaarsdal (Overberg), on which to plant her own Pinot Noir vineyards.

Stevens said the awards served as an inspiration to other women to explore a future in agriculture.

“The competition is a fantastic way to encourage more women to consider agriculture as a career possibility. At the moment I have a wine that I would really like to bottle. My winnings will be used to cover some of the funds needed for this new wine offering.”

In addition, the Western Cape won the provincial award for best management/compliance of the provincial leg of the competition.

An initiative of the National Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the awards are hosted in partnership with all provincial departments of agriculture. The competition seeks to honour women in agriculture.

Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, congratulated Damons and Stevens.

“Berene and Carmen are ambassadors for our agriculture sector, who are shattering the old perception that agriculture is the domain of men. It is important to showcase the successes of female entrepreneurs in agriculture so we can encourage more women to enter this sector.  Berene and Carmen are not only important employers, they are inspiring a new generation of young people to consider a career in agriculture.  I am encouraged by their plans to expand their enterprises, and wish them every success for the future.”

 

Photo: Carmen Stevens, Douglas Chitepo (WCDoA) and Berene Damons

 

    

                            Carmen Stevens                                                                        Berene Damons

For more images of Damons and Stevens, kindly visit Minister Winde’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pg/MinisterAlanWinde/

Watch videos here:  


For media queries, kindly contact:

Bronwynne Jooste
Spokesperson: Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities
Responsible for Tourism, Economic Development and Agriculture
Western Cape Government
142 Long Street, Cape Town

Tel: 021 483 3550
Cell: 060 970 4301
Email: bronwynne.jooste@westerncape.gov.za
Website: www.elsenburg.com
Twitter: bronwynnejooste

Drought Relief

Statement by Alan Winde, Minster of Economic Opportunities

We welcome the R40 million in drought relief for agriculture allocated by the National Government. The funds will be used for animal feed for livestock.

For the past five months, the Western Cape Government has been spending R11 million each month in own funds for animal feed to support around 1 300 commercial and smallholder farmers.

This means the Western Cape Government has already allocated R59million to drought relief over this period. A further R7.7 million will be spent by the end of August. This includes R3 million for removing the sand build up at the weir of the 24 Rivers Canal system that feeds the Voëlvlei Dam – usually the mandate of National Government. This will greatly improve the dam’s capacity to capture rain water.

As a result of the severity of the drought, in 2015 the Western Cape Department of Agriculture started initiating proceedings to declare the worst affected regions as disasters.

An analysis by economists in the Western Cape Department of Agriculture found that a 10% reduction in yields, as a result of the drought, could cost the economy R3.2 billion and place 17 000 jobs under threat.

Additional research also shows that a 30% loss of agricultural water in some of the main irrigation areas supplied by the Theewaterskloof and Bergriver water systems could lead to losses in farm income to the total of R309 million and job losses of around 1 700 employees.

These are scenarios we have managed to divert, but call on Western Cape residents to be mindful of their water usage.

The impact of the drought was also felt in the other South African provinces, with a recent impact assessment determining that at the national level the drought has resulted in a 6-7% decline in net farm income.

Due to drought, some farmers have been forced to reduce on-farm activity, particularly in respect of planting. This may have contributed to slower growth in jobs in this sector.


For media queries, kindly contact:

Bronwynne Jooste
Spokesperson: Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities
Responsible for Tourism, Economic Development and Agriculture
Western Cape Government
142 Long Street, Cape Town

Tel: 021 483 3550
Cell: 060 970 4301
Email: bronwynne.jooste@westerncape.gov.za
Website: www.elsenburg.com
Twitter: bronwynnejooste

 

Avian Influenza detected on a Western Cape poultry farm

The Western Cape Department of Agriculture has confirmed the presence of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in a commercial layer poultry farm in the province.

On Tuesday (22 August 2017), the Department’s Veterinary Services programme confirmed the disease had spread to a farm in the Paardeberg region. The cause is most likely through contact with wild birds. Since then, meetings with poultry veterinarians and stakeholders such as the National Institute for Communicable Diseases have taken place.

Over 10 000 chickens have already died and culling of the rest of the farm and composting of mortalities has already been started.

The farm has been placed under quarantine.

The virus has not yet been confirmed as H5N8, which is the strain in outbreaks in other parts of the country. However, the H5 typing, and the nature of its effect on chickens, is indicative of it being the H5N8 strain.

Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, was briefed on the outbreak.

Minister Winde said: “The virus presents a challenge to control due to the wild birds, but the vets are working hard to contain the spread. This is a priority for the poultry industry, and the entire agriculture sector. The outbreak and the current drought have made agriculture a tough space to be in. This is a particularly difficult time for those affected farms, which are important employers.  This is why we ask all stakeholders to continue working with us to mitigate the impact of this outbreak on our economy.”

In Heidelberg, three ostrich farms have tested positive. No birds have died on the farms. The affected farms remain under quarantine.

Poultry products available in supermarkets and stores do not pose a risk to human health as a result of this strain of avian influenza.

The following control measures have been implemented:

  • Farms within a 3km zone of an infected farm will be monitored closely and subjected to the control measures as laid out by the National Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry;
  • It is strongly recommended that any movement of pet birds, racing pigeons, breeding birds and show birds be limited as far as possible and covered by a movement permit if coming from within 30km of an infected farm;
  • Sick or dead birds - both wild birds and poultry – must be reported to local state vets. Contact details can be found at http://www.elsenburg.com/services-and-programmes/veterinary-services-0#s=Animal-Health-and-Disease-Control
  • Exports of poultry and poultry products have been suspended except from poultry compartments registered with DAFF, or where a country’s import permit contains clauses that are able to be signed by a certifying veterinarian.

Avian influenza is a controlled disease in terms of the Animal Diseases Act, 35 of 1984.

It is a viral respiratory disease amongst birds, believed to be transmitted by wild migratory birds. The H5N8 strain of the disease has already wreaked havoc in the poultry industry in Zimbabwe where thousands of commercial birds have died or had to be culled.

Avian influenza is primarily spread by direct contact between healthy and infected birds, or through indirect contact with contaminated equipment or other materials. The virus is present in the faeces of infected birds and in discharges from their noses, mouth and eyes. The virus can spread into domestic flocks kept outdoors through faecal contamination from wild birds, whereas infection among indoor flocks is spread via airborne discharges and faeces.

For recommendations for farmers, kindly visit: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/news/avian-influenza-confirmed-western-cape


Bronwynne Jooste
Spokesperson: Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities
Responsible for Tourism, Economic Development and Agriculture
Western Cape Government
142 Long Street, Cape Town

Tel: 021 483 3550
Cell: 060 970 4301
Email: bronwynne.jooste@westerncape.gov.za
Website: www.elsenburg.com
Twitter: bronwynnejooste

Bird flu confirmed in Western Cape

The Western Cape Department of Agriculture has confirmed the presence of Highly Pathogenic Avian influenza (HPAI), type H5N8, in two ostrich farms in the Heidelberg area. Here’s what you need to know.

Avian influenza is a controlled disease in terms of the Animal Diseases Act, 35 of 1984.

Vets from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture detected HPAI during routine testing.

Last week, throat swabs tested positive for HPAI. Both farms were placed under quarantine immediately, and no birds are allowed to enter or leave the affected properties. There are around 1000 ostriches on both farms.

To ensure the accuracy of the first test, and because the ostriches are not showing any clinical signs of the illness, vets continued their testing campaign. There have been no reported bird deaths in the area.

At this stage, it appears that the incidence has been confined to the two properties. Farms within 3km of the affected farms will be placed under quarantine and testing in the surrounding areas will continue.

No decision to cull has been taken and discussions are ongoing.

It is suspected that wild birds are the source of the infection.

Thirteen outbreaks have occurred in South Africa since June this year, in Mpumalanga and Gauteng. The outbreaks involved seven commercial chicken farms, two groups of backyard chickens, three sets of wild birds and one group of domestic geese.

Avian influenza is a viral respiratory disease of birds believed to be transmitted by wild migratory birds. In Southern Africa, the H5N8 strain of the disease also affected the poultry industry in Zimbabwe, where thousands of commercial birds have died or had to be culled.

This strain of the virus has so far shown no sign of being infectious to people. Constant monitoring of exposed people in South Africa has supported this.

Ostrich and chicken meat on sale in retail outlets is safe for human consumption.

Avian Influenza is primarily spread by direct contact between healthy and infected birds, or through indirect contact with contaminated equipment or other materials. The virus is present in the faeces of infected birds and in discharges from their noses, mouth and eyes. The virus can spread into domestic flocks kept outdoors through faecal contamination from wild birds, whereas infection among indoor flocks is spread via airborne discharges and faeces.

There is currently no preventive vaccine or treatment for HPAI H5N8. Current practice in most regions of the world requires the culling of infected birds. There is no benefit to be gained in attempting to control the virus in wild birds through culling or habitat destruction.

General recommendations:

  • It is very important to report sick or dead birds - both wild birds and poultry - to local authorities (veterinary services, public health officials, community leaders etc.) Details of local state veterinarians can be found HERE.
  • Farmers and poultry producers should step up their biosecurity measures in order to prevent potential virus introduction from wild birds or their faeces;
  • It is important to keep poultry and other animals away from wild birds and their body fluids, through screens, fencing or nets;
  • Commercial poultry operations and backyard poultry owners should avoid the introduction of the virus through contaminated clothes, footwear, vehicles or equipment used in waterfowl hunting.

Because of the HPAI H5N8 outbreaks, the buyers or sellers of more than five live chickens for any purpose other than direct slaughter at a registered abattoir will be subjected to the following conditions (quoting Media Briefing by Minister Senzeni Zokwana, Avian Influenza Outbreak In South Africa, 29 June 2017, Department Agriculture Forestry & Fisheries):

  • The sellers of live chickens, including commercial farmers, as well as the traders who buy and resell these chickens must register with the Poultry Disease Management Agency (PDMA). The national Director Animal Health has authorised the PDMA to register and keep records of all parties selling and buying live chickens. The PDMA is an independent organisation and all information about the trade of live chickens will be kept strictly confidential.
  • Only registered sellers and buyers are allowed to trade and it is the responsibility of both the seller and the buyer to ensure that their counterpart is registered.
  • Farmers may only sell live chickens certified as healthy by a veterinarian or Animal Health Technician.
  • Traders may only sell healthy chickens and must keep records as prescribed.
  • Sellers and buyers registering with the PDMA would have to sign an undertaking to adhere to the required control measures.

For more information, kindly contact Petro van Rhyn, Head of Communication for the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, on 071 231 7576.

 

Women in Western Cape agriculture celebrated

Leading women in Western Cape agriculture were celebrated this evening.

The winners of the Female Entrepreneur Awards were announced during a ceremony this evening (10 August 2017), at Kronenburg in Paarl. Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, delivered the keynote address at the event, which takes place annually during Women’s Month.

The winners, who will be entered into the national competition, are:

Best Female Worker – Dineo Lebetsa – Tolbos Farm, Caledon

Tolbos is a fruit farm, specialising in apples and pears. Dineo leads 16 women and men in different farm activities namely sorting, thinning, harvesting and training of young trees. She also works with her team in an open nursery (mother block) planting rootstocks. In addition, she oversees the transport of workers from Caledon to the farm.

Best Subsistence Producer – Dawn Ehrenreich– Dig for Victory, Mitchell’s Plain

Dig for Victory is an organic vegetable and herb garden. The garden was initially established as a result of a “waste wise” pilot project by the City of Cape Town. Dawn was trained as a community facilitator. The project was responsible for fighting dumping in communities through education and awareness programmes. The project developed into a vegetable garden, which later expanded to a local park.

Top Entrepreneur Processing – Berene Damons – Tesselaarsdal Wines Pty Ltd, Hermanus

Berene started her business in 2014. She secures the grapes from different sources and makes the wine at Hamilton Russel Vineyards’ cellar. The bottling, labelling and further packaging is done by her and six other female staff members. She also handles the marketing and logistics of the wine herself. Berene is in the process of purchasing 3.5 hectares of land in Tesselaarsdal, Overberg where Pinot Noir grapes will be planted, for use in her wines.

Top Entrepreneur Exporting – Carmen Steven, Carmen Stevens Wines (Pty) Ltd, Somerset West

Carmen Stevens has 21 years’ experience in winemaking, having been the first black person to study and qualify as a winemaker in South Africa in 1995.  Her company was registered in 2011. The main purpose of the business is to source, produce, blend and bottle premium quality red and white table wines - exclusively for the export market.

Ministerial Award for Youth - Berene Damons – Tesselaarsdal Wines Pty Ltd, Hermanus

In addition to receiving the award for Top Entrepreneur – Processing, Berene also received the Ministerial Award.

Minister Winde congratulated the winners, and said they served as an inspiration in the agriculture sector.

“Historically, agriculture had a reputation for being a male-dominated profession. I’ve been very encouraged to see this trend changing. It is our goal to expand access to this sector, and through initiatives like this, we are showcasing success stories which can inspire other residents.

“The businesswomen we have honoured tonight are leading the way in boosting food security, and creating jobs. They are ambassadors for Western Cape agriculture, and I wish them every success at the national competition.”

Since the launch of the competition in 1999, close to 400 women in the Western Cape have entered. Last year, Lindelwa Mabuya, from Abagold Abalone Farming in Hermanus, and Caroline de Villiers, Themba Trees in Elgin won awards at the national competition.

This year, the national event takes place takes place in Mpumalanga on 27 August 2017.

To download sound clips from Minister Winde, kindly visit https://clyp.it/user/h2wn3yfi


For media queries, kindly contact:

Bronwynne Jooste
Spokesperson: Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities
Responsible for Tourism, Economic Development and Agriculture
Western Cape Government
142 Long Street, Cape Town

Tel: 021 483 3550
Cell: 060 970 4301
Email: bronwynne.jooste@westerncape.gov.za
Website: www.elsenburg.com
Twitter: bronwynnejooste
 

Take advantage of opportunities for women

Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements and progress of women and the important role women have played and continue to play in South Africa's society.

Women’s Day is a commemoration to the more than 20 000 women of  who marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956 to protest against the extension of apartheid pass laws to include black women.

Making a difference

Women often juggle the roles of mothers, wives and caregivers as well as their careers. 

Kelly van Oordt, female welder

We’re committed to empowering women and helping them reach their maximum potential. An example of this is Kay van Oordt, the first female welder to graduate from the Department of Transport and Public WorksBellville Mechanical Workshop Apprenticeship Programme
 

The 22 year old graduate, joined the 4 year apprenticeship programme in 2013 and graduated on 1 July 2017 as the first female welder.

Although she says becoming a welder wasn’t always a career option while growing up, she has learnt to love the trade.

“I didn’t always want to become a welder but I received a great opportunity from the Department of Transport and Public Works and as time passed I learnt to love it.”

She says although being a female welder comes with its challenges she has received a lot of support from her male co-workers and will  encourage  other  females

to consider this rewarding career.  

Find out more about the Bellville Mechanical Workshop Apprenticeship and how to apply.

Every year the Department of Agriculture recognises the top female farm workers at their annual AgriFemina and Female Entrepreneur Awards.

The Female Entrepreneur Awards will take place on 10 August 2017 and recognises the outstanding achievements of females working in the agricultural, forestry and fisheries sectors. For updates on the awards ceremony, follow the Department of Agriculture on Twitter.

To find out more about business opportunities for women within government visit  

 

Preventing fires in the Western Cape

 

fire-season-banner

A small uncontrolled fire can quickly spread and become a threat to people’s lives and their property. Fires are common during the December to April period which is why we need to be extra cautious when starting a fire for braaing, lighting a candle, paraffin lamp or any gas appliance such as a stove. Uncontrolled fires also occur in winter months, when there's a need to keep warm.

Fire is everyone’s fight campaign

The Fire is Everyone's Fight campaign contains guidelines for using the posters with learners. It also includes suggestions for activities that reinforce the key fire safety and emergency preparedness messages. Minister Bredell says it’s vital to educate communities about fires and fire prevention and in particular children.

“We have a responsibility to teach children the basics and to act responsibly around fire ourselves. We must continuously talk to our families and friends about the dangers of fire and what to do when it breaks out.”

The idea of the department’s Fire is Everyone's Fight campaign, is to help communities understand that fires can be prevented.  

stop-drop-and-roll-article

Some key objectives include: 

  • Reducing fire injuries and deaths in informal settlements.
  • Reducing property loss. 
  • Limiting other residential fire losses. 

Basic Emergencies, Safety and Fire Education (BESAFE) programme

Through the Fire is Everyone’s Fight campaign and the Basic Emergencies, Safety and Fire Education (BESAFE) programme, the aim is to raise awareness among children to create safer homes and communities.

Teachers and fire and life safety educators can use the BESAFE programme for one-to-one, small-group, or classroom instruction. Through this children are encouraged to:

  • practice making safer choices,
  • resisting peer pressure to take dangerous chances, and
  • influence family members to take action to reduce fires.

Read more about the BESAFE programme.

 

Stop, Drop and Roll

Should your clothes catch alight, make sure you know the Stop, Drop and Rollmethod to prevent the fire from spreading to the rest of your body. 

You’ll need to:

  • immediately stop what you’re doing if your clothing catches on fire,
  • drop to your knees and lie on your stomach,
  • close your eyes and cover your face with your hands to protect yourself from the flames and from inhaling the smoke,
  • roll onto your back and to your front repeatedly until the fire is out, and
  • remove all your burnt clothing and check to see that it’s not still burning.

General safety tips for you and your family

Prevention of fires

In order to prevent fires from starting or spreading, you should:

  • not leave open fires unattended and should use sand to kill the fire,
  • make sure that your home has no illegal electrical connections and that multiplugs are not overloaded, as these can overheat causing sparks and fires,
  • keep the area around your home clear of materials that can start a fire,
  • tell someone who is playing carelessly with fires, matches or lighters to stop, and 
  • know your emergency numbers to report veldfires in your area immediately.

Fires inside your home

  • Warn people inside the house to get out safely.
  • Help people to get out and stay out of harm's way.
  • If there is a lot of smoke, crawl out below the smoke to escape the fire.
  • Where possible, have more than 1 exit from your house, with clear routes to the door.

Smoke alarms

The Western Cape Department of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning has initiated an innovative smoke alarm installation programme for high fire risk communities.

This new smoke alarm installation programme, is a key component of the Fire is Everyone’s Fight campaign, and you can read more about the campaign, or contact your closest local district municipality for more information on availability and costs for these smoke alarm systems.

How to put out a fire without water

A fire needs heat, oxygen and fuel to survive. Without 1 of these elements the fire will die. 

If you don't have access to water or a fire extinguisher in order to put out a fire, you can use other methods such as sand or a wet blanket. If the fire occurs on your kitchen stove, try to smother the fire by placing a lid on top. 

Never use water to kill an electrical fire. It's also handy to keep a bucket of clean sand ready outside your kitchen door, or if possible, a small fire extinguisher. 


Fire safety

General safety rules

 

  • Keep a well-maintained fire extinguisher in your house and know how to use it.
  • If you have no extinguisher, keep an empty bucket for water or a bucket of sand if possible.
  • If you have a garden hose, keep it rolled up and ready for use in case of a fire.
  • Where possible, have more than one exit from your house.
  • Have an escape plan, and make sure that your whole family knows the plan.
  • Don’t park in the way of a fire hydrant (and remind your neighbours and visitors to do the same).
  • Keep matches and lighters out of children's reach.
  • Cut candles in half to prevent them falling over and use a candle holder.
  • Never leave an open fire – for example around a braai - unattended.
  • Don't let open fires, such as a braai - get too big and out of control.
  • Monitor weather conditions. If the wind is strong, rather put the fire out till the wind dies down.

Outdoor fire safety tips

  • Open fires are a common cause of uncontrolled fires in the Western Cape. It's a good idea not to start a fire when it's hot, dry and especially not when it’s windy. 
  • Check with your local fire department before making fires outside.

On certain days recreational fires will be prohibited, as indicated by the daily fire danger rating.  This rating predicts the expected difficulty involved to put out runaway fires, and the higher the rating, the more dangerous the conditions are.

The rating is your trigger to act, so to stay safe you need to stay aware of the Fire Danger Rating in your area. During the fire season, the Fire Danger Rating will feature in weather forecasts and be broadcast on radio and TV and published in some newspapers.

The South African Weather Service provides a clear indication through its fire danger index map, of areas at risk of veldfires.

Areas marked in red (76 to 100%) are extremely dangerous and areas that marked in blue (0 to 20%) are considered safe.

Braai safety tips

  • Children should never be allowed to start a gas or wood braai or play near the braai area.
  • Keep a braai well away from any surrounding vegetation or flammable materials, structures as well as children and pets.
  • Protect yourself by wearing a heavy apron and an oven mitt that fits high up over your forearm.
  • Always wear short sleeve shirts or roll your sleeves up when braaing.
  • Never use a portable braai indoors, besides the danger of causing a fire in your home, it can also cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Never use a flammable liquid (for example: petrol, paraffin) to start a braai fire. Only use paper, kindling or store bought fire-lighters.
  • Never use any kind of fuel to re-ignite or build up a fire-this is a dangerous practice.
  • Soak the coals of a dead fire with water before you discard them, as coal can retain heat for long periods of time. 
  • If you have a gas braai, always store the gas cylinder outside and make sure that the valve is not leaking by ensuring that it is properly turned off when not in use.
  • Before lighting a gas braai, check all connections with soap bubbles (use a soap and water solution). If bubbles appear at any connection when opening the valve, a qualified LP gas specialist must repair the leak before you continue to use the gas cylinder.

Campfire safety tips: 

  • Only use designated fire places and facilities in parks and recreation sites - they're designed to contain your fire in a controlled space.
  • Children must never be allowed to make a fire without adult supervision.
  • Never leave a burning or smouldering fire unattended.
  • Never use candles, matches or gas stoves in a tent; it can burn within minutes trapping its occupants inside.
  • Place your tent upwind and well away from a fire.
  • Have a large container of water and a spade handy.
  • When leaving the site or going to sleep, soak the fire with water and stir sand into the ashes or coals until every spark is out. Be careful of the hot steam and splashes when the water comes into contact with the coals.

Fire is Everyone's Fight Radio Ad (Eng).

Fire is Everyone's Fight Radio Ad (Afr).

Fire is Everyone's Fight Radio Ad (Xhosa).

 

 

 

Organ donation in South Africa

Organ donor info

More than 500 000 people die in South Africa every year of which 12% are due to violence, motor vehicle accidents and unnatural head injuries. By comparison, less than 300 transplants are performed annually of which skin donation is a small fraction.

The reality is that organ and tissue donation is a simple choice that will cost you nothing but a few minutes of your time to register. Organ transplants are undertaken in both government and private hospitals in the Western Cape, and currently heart, kidney, cornea and liver transplants are carried out at the following government hospitals: 

  • Groote Schuur Hospital
  • Red Cross Children's Hospital
  • Tygerberg Hospital
  • George Hospital

7 Questions about organ donation answered​

  1. Who can be an organ / tissue donor?

You can become a donor if:

  • you’re under the age 70,
  • you’re in good health, and
  • if you’re clear of any predefined chronic diseases that might cause further health complications for the recipient(s). 
  1. Can I donate an organ / tissue while I'm alive?

Yes, in some cases. Live donations, such as a kidney transplants, are often done between family members, because the blood groups and tissue types are more compatible which ensures a high success rate.

  1. Which organs can be transplanted?

Your heart, liver and pancreas can save 3 lives and your kidneys and lungs can help up to 4 people.

  1. Which tissues can be transplanted?

You can help up to 50 people by donating your corneas, skin, bone and heart valves.  

  1. What's the difference between an organ and a tissue donor?

The concept is the same: A person decides that after his / her own death, someone else should benefit from healthy organs and tissue through transplantation – rather than it going to the grave with the rest of their body.

Organs are retrieved when a patient is brain stem dead, still in hospital and mechanically supported on a ventilator. Few people's circumstances in death actually come to this point.

  1. Can I agree to donate only some organs or tissue and not others?

Yes, please inform your family which organs / tissue you don’t wish to donate.

  1. How long after death do the organs / tissue have to be removed?

It’s essential that organs / tissue are removed as soon as possible after brain death in order to ensure successful transplantation. Brain death has to be certified by 2 independent doctors.

If you want to find out more about organ donation, visit the frequently asked questions (FAQs) section on the website of the Organ Donation Foundation.

Registering as a donor

You can register as an organ donor by:

Once you’ve been successfully registered, the Organ Donor Foundation will send you an organ donor card to carry in your wallet as well as stickers to stick on your ID book and driver’s licence to make your intentions known in case of an emergency.

Giving consent

The most important thing is to talk to your family.  Inform them of your wish to become an organ donor, as your organs can’t be procured for transplantation without consent from your next of kin.

Parents need to give written consent if they give permission for their babies, toddlers and teenagers younger than 18 to be organ donors.

Watch the Organ Donor Foundation television advertisement

Other important links:

Mandela Day
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) outbreak in South Africa

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was confirmed in a broiler breeder site in Mpumalanga.  Although an initial ban on the sale of live cull birds was put in place by DAFF, this ban has been conditionally lifted and the Director Animal Health has authorised the Poultry Disease Management Agency (PDMA) to register and keep records of all parties selling and buying live chickens. With regard to the registration process for the selling of live chickens, please download the relevant procedural manual and forms here.

The latest AgriProbe is now available
Let's build your business together!

Get your small business off the ground

Business licence

Small businesses are the engine room of the province's economy and starting one can be both exhilarating and daunting at the same time. The Western Cape Government understands that entrepreneurship and small business start-ups are vital to the growth of the province and the South African economy, and many career opportunities exist for you if you want to start your own small businesses. 

The following services from the Department of Economic Development and Tourism are available to entrepreneurs, to support you in the venture of getting your business off the ground.


Enterprise Development Unit

Through its Enterprise Development Unit, the Department of Economic Development and Tourism offers a suite of services and support programmes to develop and grow small business in the Western Cape. 

The unit’s objective is to facilitate engagements between relevant stakeholders to ensure demand-led support intervention and to develop and grow small businesses through enhanced access to financial and non-financial support. Find out what support and services are on offer at the unit. 


Emerging Business Support

The Department of Economic Development and Tourism in partnership with Absa Bank will be rolling out a programme centered around providing business owners with core business knowledge and skills which form the basis of a successful business.

The information and skills set provided to small, medium and micro enterprise owners through this intervention will contribute to building the growth, viability and sustainability of your business.


Agri-processing Supplier Development

Get the support you need to grow your Agri-processing business. Apply before 30 June 2017.


Investment Readiness Programme

The Investment Readiness Programme is designed for entrepreneurs/business that:

  • are registered and trading for a minimum of 3 years.
  • are Tax compliant or must have submitted an application to SARS.
  • have viable revenues, are cash positive and profitable.
  • are able to produce at least 3 years annual financial statements (signed off).

Call for applications: 2017 form.
 


Premier’s Entrepreneurship Recognition Awards

The PERA competition is in its fifth year and still growing with a vision to create a vibrant, innovative and sustainable economy. 

 

Starting Your Own Business2

 

 

 

 

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