On Thursday, 19 March 2020, the Western Cape Provincial Department of Agriculture’s 2020/2021 Budget of R970,556 million was tabled in the Western Cape Legislature.
The 2020/2021 budget is allocated as follows:
- Sustainable resource Management: R130 621 million
- Farmer Support and Development: R293 681 million
- Veterinary Services R108 226 million: R108 228 million
- Research and Technology: R161 160 million
- Agricultural Economic Services: R43 562 million
- Structured agricultural Education and Training: R62 466 million and
- Rural Development: R30 268 million
Key initiatives planned for 2020/2021 include:
- R20 million for three cold rooms in support of the black commercial farmer initiative in the Overberg District.
- R10 million is assigned for the purpose of market access improvement through Biotechnology and increasing fruit export opportunities in Africa.
- R49.5 million is earmarked for drought related interventions in the 2020/2021 financial year
- An additional once-off allocation of R20 million in 2020/21 is towards raising the canal walls of the Brandvlei Dam.
- Yesterday, I also welcomed the news that the National Government has allocated a further R25 million towards drought mitigation in the Central Karoo and Garden Route Districts.
Given the circumstances under which this budget is being tabled, Honourable Speaker, I will, as soon as it is safe to do so, travel across the Western Cape to meet with agriculture stakeholders to further unpack the benefits and services this budget will bring to their respective districts.
Dr Ivan Meyer, Provincial Minister of Agriculture in the Western Cape, has officially announced Dr Mogale Sebopetsa as the new Head of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA).
Minister Meyer: “I am looking forward to working with the newly appointed Head of Department (HoD) for Agriculture in the Western Cape. He has extensive public sector management skills and will bring knowledge as an agricultural scientist. He has also established a good working relationship with agricultural stakeholders.”
Dr Sebopetsa currently holds the post of Chief Director: Farmer Support and Development at the WCDoA. He started working at the Department in 2006 and has been working in the agricultural sector for over 20 years.
Previously, he worked for the Gauteng Department of Agriculture, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and also lectured at the University of Limpopo for some time.
He has played a pivotal role in establishing various policies to the benefit of farmer development - for which he has a great passion - and used this deep interest in improving the lives of farmers as the back bone for his PhD; his research focused on the developing an extension framework for smallholder farming.
Dr Sebopetsa has a clear vision for the Department and has hopes to improve farmer development and food security for the Province in his five-year contract period.
“I would like to continue to build on existing and explore new partnerships with other key role players within the agricultural sector to ensure a more food secure and economically prosperous Western Cape,” said Dr Sebopetsa.
Dr Sebopetsa, is someone who believes in continuous learning and believes in the motto, “You can’t solve today’s problems with yesterday’s thinking.”
“The Western Cape Government has a clear vision when it comes to its citizens, with a focus on bettering lives, this is further emphasised in the five key priority areas as set out by Minister Meyer. This can only be achievable through the continued goodwill between the Department and the industry. I hope to strengthen and deepen these already existing partnerships and collaborations,” said the enthusiastic new HoD.
“I would like to thank the outgoing HoD Ms Joyene Isaacs for her continued guidance and support since 2006. She has done a sterling job in ensuring that the foundations are laid, making it easier for me to expand and build on this legacy,” Dr Sebopetsa said.
Ms Joyene Isaacs, the outgoing HoD said, “Mogale has been a stalwart in the Department and I hand over the reins with confidence knowing he can and will take this Department to new heights.”
Dr Sebopetsa will assume his duties as new HoD for Agriculture in the Western Cape from 1 April 2020.
Dr Mogale Sebopetsa
Starting your own Small Business?
One of the most frequently raised frustrations businesses contacting the Red Tape Reduction Business Helpline have raised in the past, was around the process for starting a small business. The Red Tape Reduction unit has developed a quick read guideline to help explain the basics.
Think of it as an introductory A-Z from testing your idea to preparing the necessary documents. In addition we have included a database of resource contacts to assist you through the process. And whenever you run into a blockage please Contact Us, because small businesses are vital to economic growth.
So let's cut red tape together, and expand the number of small businesses contributing to the Western Cape economy.
The guideline is available for download from the link below.
Business Support Contact Database.pdf (pdf, 389.81 KB)
Starting your own small business guide.pdf (pdf, 233.93 KB)
Western Cape’s 5-Year Strategic Plan
The Western Cape Government has developed a strategic plan to guide our work over the next 5 years. Our vision is “A safe Western Cape where everyone prospers”.
The interventions that will realise this vision are outlined in the Western Cape Strategic Plan, 2019-2024. The plan includes 5 Vision-inspired Priorities:
- Safe and Cohesive Communities
- Growth and Jobs
- Empowering People
- Mobility and Spatial Transformation
- Innovation and Culture
To read the Western Cape Strategic Plan, 2019-2024, click here.
For a summary of the Strategic Plan, click here.
An outline of the Vision-inspired Priorities has been developed in this poster, to view click here.
On Thursday, 20 February, Premier Alan Winde delivered the State of the Province Address at the Rocklands Civic Centre, Mitchells Plain, at 11am.
The debate on the SOPA and the Premier’s reply to the debate, will commence on Friday 21 February 2020 at 8am, at the same venue.
“By hosting these events in Mitchells Plain this year we are realising our desire and commitment to connecting with the citizens of the province. Over the next four years we will continue to actively engage with citizens through a series of public engagement initiatives throughout the Western Cape”, said Speaker of the Western Cape Parliament, Masizole Mnqasela.
During the State of the Province Address, the Premier outlined the Western Cape Government's main focus areas over the next year:
- Energy and Resilience
- Ease of doing business
- Human Settlements
- Culture change and Innovation
What is the State of the Province Address (SOPA)?
- The State of the Province Address is a speech made by the Premier or provincial head.
- The event usually marks the official opening of the Provincial Parliament.
- The speech is delivered in front of members of the provincial executive, including the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and the Secretary.
Who can attend?
This year the State of the Province Address was held at the Rocklands Civic Centre in Mitchells Plain. Invited guests, including a number from the community of the Mitchells Plain area, were be able to attend the event.
Watch SOPA live!
The Premier's Address was streamed on Premier Winde's Facebook page and the Western Cape Parliament's YouTube Channel. You can also get involved in the conversation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Did you miss the Elsenburg College opening?
Listen to the Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, welcoming the first-year students to Elsenburg.
Dr Ivan Meyer, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, calls on citizens to share practical solutions and ideas on how to strengthen rural safety. Make a difference by emailing your contributions to RURAL SAFETY.
WHAT IS THE PRODUCER/FARMER REGISTER (PFR)?
The PFR is the statistical data collection on smallholder farmers in which information on the demography of farms and farmers, production activities, as well as infrastructure are gathered in South Africa.
More information can be downloaded here.
Francois Cilliers from Willow Creek Olive Estate, Nuy Valley, Breede Valley region was announced as the 2019 Western Cape Prestige Agri Awards winner. This is the first winner from the Breede Valley region, making it an exceptionally special award not just for Francois but also for this region.
The Prestige Agri Awards recognises the hard work, commitment and dedication of the province’s agricultural workforce. The overall winners of the competition form part of the Western Cape Prestige Agri Worker Forum that meets with the Minister of Agriculture on a quarterly basis. The forum provides a platform for the sharing of information regarding good farming practices, identifying opportunities and improving productivity.
Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer said: “The Prestige Agri Awards not only showcases the excellent work being done in the agricultural sector in this province, but also inspires pride in its agri workers encourages them to learn new skills and creates positive perceptions around agricultural work. Shoprite can certainly be proud of their sponsorship of a competition that has had such a significant impact on the lives of agri workers. Agri workers play a significant role in the Western Cape economy. Their energy, knowledge and expertise drives food security, brings foreign exchange into the country from exports, and enables them to provide for their families. My sincere congratulations to all the participants, finalists and winners.”
A total of 1 393 agricultural employees from across 16 regions entered the competition this year. Regional winners were chosen in Piket Bo Berg, Durbanville, Stellenbosch, Central Karoo, Berg River, Franschhoek, Breede Valley, Swartland, Overberg, Langeberg, the Garden Route, Olifantsrivier, Hex Valley, Klein Karoo Region, the Elgin, Grabouw, Vyeboom and Villiersdorp region and Witzenberg.
As overall winner, Francois won prizes to the value of approximately R100 000 that includes an overseas study tour. When asked about his winning, Francois emphasised: “Agriculture creates opportunities, just believe in what you want to be and you can determine how you want your life to pan out. Always ask questions, look up to people that have potential and take ownership of your road to success”
“Agri workers are a key resource for this sector and I salute the hardworking men and women that contribute to a better agricultural landscape.” said Meyer.
The competition saw its inception in 2002 in the Hex Valley Region by Ms Elsa Jordaan, CEO, Hex Valley Table Grape Association and what started off with 36 participants has grown from strength to strength with more than 13 000 entries received since. In 2005 the Western Cape Department of Agriculture saw an opportunity to expand the competition to a provincial level and since 2012 has partnered with Shoprite
Photo from left to right: Joyene Isaacs, Western Cape Department of Agriculture; Dr van Deventer, Shoprite; Minister Ivan Meyer, Francois Cilliers, winner; Executive Mayor of the Breede Valley Municipality, Antoinette Steyn; and Elsa Jordaan, CEO, Hex Valley Table Grape Association
Western Cape Agriculture Veterinary Laboratory Services maintains international accreditation
Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer recently hosted an awards evening for staff of the Western Cape Provincial Veterinary Laboratory to celebrate their contributions to the laboratory’s success in achieving and maintaining SANAS accreditation in accordance with ISO/IEC17025 standards.
This puts the services offered by the laboratory on par with any similar institution in the world.
SANAS (The South African National Accreditation System) is the only body responsible for carrying out accreditations in respect of conformity assessment as mandated through the Accreditation for Conformity Assessment, Calibration and Good Laboratory Practice Act (Act 19 of 2006).
The Provincial Veterinary Lab was the first veterinary lab in the country to attain SANAS accreditation as an ISO 17052 compliant laboratory. This has ensured international acceptance of lab results.
Commenting on the achievement Minister Meyer said: “We should be extremely proud of the work being done by our Provincial Laboratory to ensure healthy animals, safe animal products and the welfare of the people of South Africa. The work done by the Provincial Laboratory is also inextricably linked to our goal to access greater export markets, and therefore the growth of our agricultural economy”.
Ten veterinary technologists are currently approved as technical signatories for the accredited test methods in scopes of testing which include Serology for Brucellosis, Avian influenza, Newcastle Disease and African Horse Sickness.
“Accreditation for a rapid test for African Horse Sickness means that test results are quicker and cheaper to obtain which will help with the growth of our province's equine industry”, said Meyer.
Daniel Johnson – Spokesperson for Minister Ivan Meyer – 0799904231
On the eve of Women’s Day 2019, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture recently held its annual Female Entrepreneur Awards Ceremony in Stellenbosch on Friday night, honouring the many hard-working women in the sector and the role they play in food security and growing the economy.
The competition is a joint effort between the National Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and the provincial Department of Agriculture. It seeks to reward the efforts and contribution of women in job creation, economic growth and poverty alleviation.
Provincial winners are entered into the national competition to be held on 29 August 2019 in Cape Town where provincial category winners will be competing for the coveted national awards.
Minister of Agriculture, Ivan Meyer said: “The Female Entrepreneur Awards creates an enabling environment for women to progress from subsistence and smallholder producers to commercial entrepreneurs. Tonight we recognize their contributions to the sector, celebrate their tenacity and achievements and honour the role that women play, not only in the agricultural sector, but also in the broader society.”
The winners were:
BEST FEMALE WORKER : Winner - Ntombesisa Mpendukana.
Ntombesisa Mpendukana of Philadephia Chicks displays a remarkable understanding and knowledge of fertile egg production. Feed, water levels and biosecurity are key facets of her responsibility which includes ensuring that all aspects of egg production are strictly adhered to and that customers are provided with quality eggs on a daily basis
TOP ENTREPRENEUR: SUBSISTENCE PRODUCER : Winner - Zoleka Gomo
Zoleka Gomo’s Women for Peace food security and organic vegetable production project in Mfuleni contributes to community development through skills training for women, unemployed youth and school going children between 6-18 years old. The soup kitchen and food garden programme has also led to a decrease in the high rate of crime in the area.
TOP ENTREPRENEUR: SMALL HOLDER - Winner - Annique Smith
Annique Smith of A&BP Honey Bee (Pty) Ltd began her honey and pollination business with only five hives. She quickly grew her bee pollination business to 188 hives. She rents hives to farmers to pollinate their apples and pears and currently produces about 1-ton honey per year. The honey is sold to local markets.
TOP ENTREPRENEUR: PROCESSING: Winner - Daphne Neethling of PaardenKloof Estate (Pty) Ltd
PaardenKloof creates exceptional wines, with its held-back vintages scheduled for release after a period of maturation. The red wines are released after a five-year maturation period and the white wines after 18 months in the bottle. Varietals include Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. All the wines are registered with SAWIS as single vineyard wines.
TOP ENTREPRENEUR: COMMERCIAL: Winner – Marilyn Siegels
Marilyn Siegels of Nitaflo Pty Ltd, Protea PLAS Farm fruit production. The project consists of 24.68ha of bearing orchards consisting of 12.24ha (plums) and 12.44ha (apples). In October 2018 the farm successfully established 14.6ha of apples. Nitaflo holds a gold Global GAP accreditation as well as a platinum SIZA certificate for excellent agricultural business practices.
TOP ENTREPRENEUR: EXPORT MARKETS: Winner - Berene Damons - Tesselaarsdal Wines Pty Ltd
Former au pair and administrator of wine exports, labelling and warehousing of estate wines, Berene, owns her own wine business and is an award winning wine producer in the Hemel-en-Aarde area.
MINISTERIAL AWARD: YOUTH ENTREPRENEUR: Winner – Marice Mercuur.
Marice Mercuur focuses on natural handmade Rooibos Health and Skincare products. She supplies to a handful of curio shops and guesthouses in the small West Coast village of Clanwilliam.
Picture credit: Gizelle Van Wyk
Farmers are asked to be on the alert for Polyphagous shot hole borer infestations.
DEFF (Department of Environmental, Forestry and Fisheries) renders a diagnostic service for the identification and verification of PSHB infestations.
Caese is a bio pesticide that is registered internationally. It kills the fungus, but not the beetle. If the fungus is dealt with, 80% of the problem is resolved.
There is a draft government Gazette in place and the matter will be Gazetted in August 2019. PSHB might even be declared a national disaster.
Farmers should note that chipping bigger than 15 microns could still pose a risk of infestation.
The phyto-sanitary measures state that it is not allowed to transport infected wood without a permit. There is a concern about large private businesses and small local wood business selling wood.
Land-owners and farmers are not permitted to cut down infected trees and dump it anywhere. Service providers must be registered to provide a service to farmers/land-owners to remove infected trees.
Report any cases of PSHB to the call centre:
CoCT PSHB reporting line: 0860 103 089
Environmental Call centre: 086 111 2468
Samples can be forwarded to the Diagnostic Laboratory at the Plant Quarantine Station, Stellenbosch for attention, Dr Welma Pietersen (021 809 1644) .