ALERT: Polyphagous shot hole borer (PSHB) infestation

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.

Current Situation

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.

Way Forward

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) .


source: M&G



Is farming your passion?

Is farming your passion?

Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute offers various qualifications in the agricultural field. Apply for the B.Agric degree or diploma in agriculture today.


Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute


Why study agriculture?

Agriculture plays an important role in the Western Cape’s economy and in the well-being of its people. The industry creates jobs and opportunities, and feeds our citizens. Without farmers, millions of people would be left hungry, and an entire sector of our economy would be impeded. That is why it is important that we pass down agricultural skills from one generation to the next.

At Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute students learn about the fundamental principles of farming and other agricultural practices. The institute promotes sound, integrated managerial and skills training in agriculture. It also offers advanced specialisation in area specific fields of excellence informed by industry and societal needs.

The institution trains students to become farmers and also prepares them for the challenges that can affect the industry such as climate change, the introduction of new pests and diseases, and natural disasters.

After students complete their studies they will be equipped to contribute positively to the food security in South Africa and be able to face global challenges in the agricultural sector.

Agriculture in the Western Cape

In the Western Cape, 17,6% of people are employed in the agri-processing industry or a related field. Agri-processing, which is the manufacturing of raw materials and products that comes from the agricultural sector, contributes R12 billion to our economy.

Agriculture is a global industry and the Western Cape is part of that interconnected economy. The deciduous fruit industry, the wine industry and the citrus industry is the cornerstone of our agricultural economy. In 2017, China imported 18.23 million litres of South African wines, which is an increase of 9.52 million litres over four years. The Western Cape’s Halaal relevant exports totalled R10,2 billion in 2017.


The Western Cape Government also provides support to small scale farmers, as well as provides bursaries and internships to prospective farmers through the Young Professional Programme.
Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute 

Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute was established in 1898 and was the first centre for agricultural training in Africa. Situated on the outskirts of Stellenbosch, students are guaranteed high-level quality education, as well as an all rounded student experience that includes sports activities, student residences and other extramural activities.

The training institution has secured an eminent track record in agriculture and especially in the field of agricultural training. Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute offers Higher Education and Training (HET) and Further Education and Training (FET) level training, as well as a B.Agric degree that is offered in partnership with Stellenbosch University. Students are exposed to a range of subjects such as plant production, animal production, cellar technology, wine production, equine studies and scientific research within agriculture.

At present, the following qualifications can be obtained:

For more information about enrolment and requirements, please visit the Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute website or contact the training institution at 021 808 7700 or email the college at


Where to apply?

Applications for the diploma in agriculture opened on 1 May and closes on 31 July. Please note that applications for the B.Agric degree close on 30 June.

Application forms can be downloaded from the Elsenburg website or collected at the college. Applications for the B.Agric degree have to be completed via the Stellenbosch University online portal.

What bursaries are available?

The Western Cape Department of Agriculture awards bursaries to students studying full-time at a Higher Educational Institution towards obtaining a SAQA registered qualification in the Agricultural fields, or High School learners studying mathematics and sciences who have been identified as potential candidates for further studies in the Agricultural fields.

To find out what bursaries are available to students who wish to study or are already studying agriculture, please visit the Elsenburg website.

Do you want to study agriculture?


Are you ready for the 4th industrial revolution?

Studying science can open a world of opportunities for you. These bursaries are available to support you. 

Science Education and Bursaries

Science Education


The 4th industrial revolution that emerged over the past two decades demands new approaches to teaching and learning in the 21st century.

Minister Angie Motshekga announced earlier this year that the Department of Basic Education was developing coding and robotics curricula to be included from grades R to 9 from 2020.

Encouraging your child to pursue a career in science will prepare them to be equipped for the 4th industrial revolution. A career in science will give them a head start in a very fast changing world that creates new challenges and demands on everybody that lives and works in it.

They’ll also play a role in solving the many problems that we face by contributing new research, studies and developing new technologies. A career in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) field will open doors to many other career opportunities.

If your child has an interest in science and technology, and they would like to further their studies in STEM, they have different study and bursary options that they can explore.

Cape Academy of Mathematics, Science and Technology

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) established the Cape Academy of Mathematics, Science and Technology in Cape Town. The academy provides specialised education for high school learners who show potential in mathematics, science and information technology.

The school accepts pupils from all backgrounds but specifically focusses on learners from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.

Situated in Firgrove Way, Constantia, the academy accepts both day learners and boarders from grades 8 - 12. The Academy also offers the following to ensure that pupils receive the best quality education:

  • Residential accommodation for 300 learners.
  • A safe and secure learning environment in a beautiful setting.
  • Transport for day learners to-and-from the nearest railway stations (Heathfield and Retreat).
  • Experienced, highly qualified staff.
  • Science laboratories and related facilities.

Many past pupils have gone on to have amazing careers in STEM fields. If you would like to enrol your child into the academy please visit the Cape Academy website or call 021 794 5104 / 021 794 0974.

Science Education

A career in science

Science helps us understand the world and solve its problems. A career in science will allow you to follow a career path that is fulfilling and that will contribute to society by:

  • increasing our fundamental knowledge of the world,
  • creating new technology, and
  • creating new applications.

There are 4 core areas of speciality that you can focus on in science. These specialised fields include:

  • Life and medical science: A student of life sciences will study micro-organisms, plants, animals, human beings and other living things.
  • Physical science: Physical sciences focuses on non-living things - like space, time, quantum mechanics, climatology, geology, and oceanography.
  • Engineering science: Engineering sciences focuses on the development and creation of man-made objects. 
  • Mathematical science: Mathematical sciences focus on equations, and, as the name suggests, all things related to mathematics. 

Furthering your studies in STEM subjects will help you find a lucrative career and give you an upper hand in a rapidly changing modern economy. 

It's important to remember that in order to pursue a career in science, engineering and technology you'll need to have good results in mathematics and science at a high school level. You'll also need to look at the different requirements at universities of your choice, as these usually vary between institutions.

You'll need to pass your National Senior Certificate (NSC) with admission to bachelor's degree studies (which requires a performance level of at least 4 (50-59%) in each of 4 designated university admission subjects), or an exemption certificate issued by the South African Matriculation Board to students with other school qualifications.

It is important to find out what courses are offered at each university before applying. To find out more about each university’s admission requirements, use the contact details below:

Science Education


Contact details

Stellenbosch University

Tel: 021 808 9111


University of the Western Cape

Tel: 021 959 3900/ 01/ 02/ 03


University of Cape Town

Tel: 021 650 2712

Fax: 021 650 2710


Cape Peninsula University of Technology

Tel: +27 21 959 6767


University of South Africa (UNISA)

Tel: 012 429 3111

Cape Town Office

George Office
Tel: 044 884 1300
Fax: 044 884 1303

Video: Prepare yourself for a future in science

The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) focuses on space science, engineering and technology that can promote development, build human capital and provide important national services. Much of this work involves monitoring the Earth and our surrounding environment, and using the collected data to ensure that navigation, communication technology and weather forecasting services function as intended.

We spoke to the science advancement manager at SANSA to find out why pursuing a career in science is important, and how it can benefit you?

Bursary information

There are many bursaries available to prospective students who would like to pursue a career in science and engineering.  Below we’ve listed a few bursaries that you might find interesting.

Available Bursaries:

 Bursary Programme



South Africa Toyota Motors Bursary 

The South Africa Toyota Motors Bursary is available to students who would like to study:

  • Mechanical Engineering,
  • Mechatronics Engineering,
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Information Technology 
  • Business Science Analytics

The bursary is also available to those who would like to study commerce.

Applicants must meet the following minimum entry criteria before applying:

  • South African citizen
  • Strong academic and leadership potential
  • Achieved a minimum result of 75% for Mathematics and English in Matric
  • Achieved an overall average above 70% at Tertiary. The matric criteria will be adjusted to a 65% minimum if the tertiary average exceeds 80%
  • Combined household income of R750 000 per annum.

Applications can be done online, or you can request a hardcopy application form by sending an email to

SAPPI Bursary Programme

Eligible applicants for this bursary scheme should be:

  • School leaver or university student between 18 and 25 years old.
  • Studying (or intending to study) full time at any South African accredited university.
  • A South African citizen.
  • Have an average of 70-80% in Mathematics (not Maths Literacy), 70-80% in Physical Science, and 60% in English.
  • And qualifying points for entrance at the university, or acceptance confirmation.

Applications can be done online, or hand in your application at your nearest Sappi HR Department.

Visit the SAPPI website for more information.


Clicks Pharmacy Bursary

This bursary is for those wanting to study a Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm) degree at a registered South African university. 

In order to be eligible for the bursary, applicants must meet the following requirements: 

  • Confirmed South African citizenship
  • Registered 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year BPharm student
  • A full-time undergraduate student at a South African tertiary institution
  • Aged between 19 – 35 years
  • Not be in possession of another bursary


Applications have to be done online.


SAICE Patrons’ Engineering Bursary Scheme

South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) bursaries are available to undergraduate students studying civil engineering.

National Diploma students: SAICE Patrons Engineering Bursary Scheme (SPEBS) bursaries are therefore intended for S2, S3, and S4 civil engineering students only.

Degree students: SPEBS bursaries are therefore intended for 2nd, 3rd and 4th year civil engineering students only.

Bursaries are granted per semester. 

Applications can be downloaded here and must be emailed to

The Allan Gray Fellowship

The Allan Gray Fellowship provides access to quality tertiary education to pupils who would like to study, science, engineering or the Health Sciences (Excluding Medicine, Veterinary Science and Dentistry) at one of its partner universities.

Application forms are available on the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation website.

Poliomyelitis Research Foundation Bursary

This bursary is available to postgraduate students studying science. 

Applications are available online.

And can be emailed to


Bursaries offered by the Western Cape Government

Bursary Programme



Masakh'iSizwe Bursary Programme

The Department of Transport and Public Works established the Masakh’iSizwe Bursary Programme in 2006. The bursaries are awarded to those looking to study the following disciplines:

  • Property studies
  • Transport economics
  • Transportation engineering
  • Mechatronics
  • Electrical and/or electronic engineering
  • Civil engineering
  • Construction management
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Quantity Surveying
  • Town/City and regional planning
  • Architecture, etc.

The Masakh’iSizwe Bursary Programme:

  • Prioritises financially disadvantaged learners when awarding bursaries, especially women, students with disabilities and learners from rural communities.
  • Provides support services programmes.
  • Secures learning opportunities for Masakh’iSizwe bursars (i.e. interns).
  • Secures employment opportunities for graduates.

Lazola Mtongana
Stakeholder Relations
Tel: 021 483 9545/0964
Twitter: @WCGovTPW

Bursaries in Health

The Western Cape Department of Health offers a limited number of bursaries for full-time study each year in the following fields:

  • Nursing
  • Radiology
  • Medicine
  • Pharmacy 
  • Emergency Medical

To apply for one of these bursaries you must be:

  • A South African citizen residing in the Western Cape
  • Be accepted at the relevant accredited Higher Education Institution (HEI)

To apply you need on

To apply please contact: 

For more information contact:
Tel: 021 483 6610


Where else can you apply for bursaries?

For more information about science programmes and bursaries feel free to contact the following organisations:


Contact Details

South African National Space Agency (SANSA)

Tel: 012 844-0500


South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS)

Tel: +27 12 349 6600


The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)

Tel: + 27 12 841 2911


Department of Science and Technology

Tel: +27 12 843 6300


The National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) 


Tel: +27 12 841 3987


Support for small scale farmers - funding opportunity

Support for small scale farmers - funding opportunity

Agriculture remains one of the largest employers in our country. Small scale and commercial farmers play an important role in our food security and contribute to our country's economic stability.  But what happens when land and capital isn't enough to keep the lights burning? 

Local farmers washing produce on the farm.

Since 2009, the Department of Agriculture has adopted a commodity approach through the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP) - a national governmental initiative that aims to support provincial departments of agriculture (PDAs) to create a favourable environment for emerging farmers and to expand the provision of support services for the development of agriculture.

CASP is currently being administered under the Farmer Support and Development Directorate of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, in association with CASIDRA, its governmental implementation partner to ensure that farmers are empowered to effectively manage their farming enterprises.

The CASP is based on the following principles:  

  • Priority is given to value chains as identified in the Agriculture Policy Action Plan (APAP).
  • Full utilisation of partnerships in order to exploit the strengths of key private sector partners.
  • Support for land reform projects.
  • Access to markets and potential for job creation.
  • Provide a comprehensive support package to farmers.
  • Mentorship support to small holder farmers.

Funding for this year's CASP applications is officially open! Small scale and commercial farmers who meet the requirements are encouraged to apply for this opportunity before 31 July 2019.

Criteria for applications

To ensure faster and more efficient service, applicants are advised to follow the process detailed below. If you meet the requirements, visit your local Department of Agriculture office to complete and submit your application form. 

Subsistence farmers: Community and household projects Female goat farmer.

  • Production is mainly for own consumption, while the surplus is sold for sustainability purposes.
  • Applicants must have access to land (owned or leased).
  • In the case of leased land, you must have a lease arrangement of no less than 5 years.
  • Applicants must have access to water.
  • The household will be sourced from municipal indigent registers.

Smallholder and commercial farmers 

  • Applicants must have access to land (owned or leased).
  • In the case of leased land, the applicant must have a lease arrangement for not less than 9 year-11 months. A longer lease period is required for long term crops.
  •  The farm must be a land reform project.
  •  The farm must have the potential to create jobs.
  • The farm must contribute to the transformation of the agricultural sector.
  •  Agri processing project initiatives will be considered.

How to applyMale farmer checking his crops.

If you're interested in applying for this funding opportunity, you can get a request form from your local Department of Agriculture office. Remember to complete and submit the form within the required time frame together with your tax clearance certificate, security of tenure documentation (copy of title deed or lease contract). All forms must be submitted to your local office for processing with the commodity structures – Commodity Project Allocation Committees (CPAC’s). Once the application is received the Department will get in touch with you and advice you on the further steps.

Conditions of application

Once the project is approved you'll be expected to enter into a contract with the Department of Agriculture / Agent committing to:   

  • Ensuring effective and productive usage of all equipment and inputs (equipment may be removed if not used productively/misused)
  • Accessing the project’s financial records.
  • Ensuring access to the premises for site visits from Departmental officials and implementing agents. 
  • The conditions for the Department to exit the project.
  • Compulsory attendance of project meetings.
  • The project training plan.
  • Compulsory attendance of training offered.
  • Successful applicants’ voluntary support with struggling projects. 

For more information on the application process, contact your local Department of Agriculture office. 



Contact Person






Little Karoo District

Willem Burger

Oudtshoorn Experimental Farm, Old Kammanasie Road, Oudtshoorn, 6620      

044-272 6077

044 279 1910


Central Karoo District

Frederick Mpona

Peter Jacobs Avenue 104, Beaufort West, 6970


023-414 3134

023 414 2385


North West Coast District

Marius Du Randt

PO Box 130, Vredendal, 8160

027-213 2000

027 213 2712


Cape Metropole District

Phumlani Mentani

No. 2 Old Paarl Road, 11th Floor,  22 Sunbel Building, Bellville,7530


021-948 6966

021 948 4729




Overberg District

Hennis Germishuys

Albert Myberg Hostel, Golf Street, Bredasdorp, 7280


028-424 1439

028 424 2856


Cape Winelands District

Dikeledi Kunene

ABSA BUILDING, 4th Floor, Plein Street, Stellenbosch, 7600


021-883 2560

021 883 2562


Garden Route District

Clyde Lamberts

2nd Floor York Building, York Street, George, 6530

044-803 3757

044 803 3734


Swartland District

Rose Horne

Lang Street 42, Moorreesburg, 7310

022-433 2330

022 433 2102

All applicants are required to declare previous government support and failure to do so will lead to disqualification of the applicant.

Civil servants and those working for parastatals are excluded from the support listed above.


DAFF Female Entrepreneur Awards - Western Cape - 2019

Celebrating two decades of women's victory in Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

If you believe you have what it takes to enter the competition, please download the relevant form and criteria for each category - click on the image to download the documents.

The closing date for the WESTERN CAPE LEG of the competition is 31 May 2019

Seasonal control measures in place to prevent African Horse Sickness

The Western Cape Veterinary Services in conjunction with South African Equine Health and Protocols (SAEHP) have focused efforts to enable equine exports from the province.

As part of this drive, the Western Cape has instigated further control measures to ensure the integrity of the African Horse Sickness controlled areas

AHS is endemic to South Africa and the Western Cape control zones are of vital importance to protecting the province’s equine export market.

Minister of Economic Opportunities, Beverley Schäfer said: “The current movement restrictions into the Western Cape are an example of our successful control systems at work in protecting the integrity of our AHS controlled zones.”

“By unlocking equine exports, we will be able to grow a valuable sector of our agricultural economy and ensure that the horse industry is able to grow and create more jobs in the province,” Schäfer said.

The Western Cape Government in partnership with SAEHP and the national DAFF is committed to maintaining compliance with international disease control standards and creating a sustainable equine export market.

“I appeal to all horse owners to comply with all the movement control regulations,” Minister Schäfer said.

For further information on the movement of horses into the Western Cape, please contact:

Media Queries:

Bianca Capazorio
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Economic Opportunities
Tel: 021 483 3550
Cell: 072 372 7044


Applications for the B.Agric programme are now open and must be submitted via the Stellenbosch University online portal.

Applications for all other Higher Education and Training programmes offered by the Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute for the 2020 academic year will open on 1 May 2019 and close on 30 June 2019.


AgriProbe Vol 16 No 1 is now available
AgriProbe Vol 15 No 4 is now available
3rd Edition Agricultural Trilingual Dictionary - NOW AVAILABLE

Blockchain improve government efficiency

Blockchain provides opportunities to improve government efficiency and develop the new economy

Premier of the Western Cape, Helen Zille and Minister of Economic Opportunities, Beverley Schäfer both gave key note addresses at the Blockchain Africa conference held in Cape Town today, focusing on the possibilities blockchain technology holds for the Western Cape.

Blockchain, the technology which underpins crypto currencies, creates a digital ledger which is stored in a shared network. The technology allows multiple users to access the information, but not to change it, so it provides a reliable and transparent record.

While still relatively new and largely untested, the technology has several applications in the government and the private sector that enhance the speed, efficiency and transparency of transactions.

Globally, blockchain is being used by governments to simplify the transfer of assets, thereby cutting down the cost and time involved in property transfers, car sales and other administrative processes. It could also centralise healthcare records, allowing doctors to access patients’ records and track educational outcomes throughout a child’s schooling career. Because the technology does not allow anyone to change the data, it also creates a system of trust, and has the potential to minimise corruption.

“The Western Cape Government is driving innovation and positioning the province as a global technology hub. Our focus is on developing the future economy and in order to do that, we need to embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution and explore how technologies like blockchain can help us drive service delivery and economic growth.

Speaking at the event, Premier Helen Zille said: “We have to understand and incorporate the potential of blockchain to revolutionize our systems. New ideas require experimentation through private public partnership incubators or what we call ‘sandboxes’, to see how the regulatory environment can facilitate the development of a range of applications in a context of policy certainty. I look forward to seeing the Western Cape Government exploring these in years to come.”

Minister Schäfer and Premier Zille also met with several local and international players in the blockchain field on the side lines of the conference in order to discuss the various ways in which the technology is already being implemented.

In her speech, Minister Schäfer explored the potential of using blockchain technology and crypto currencies to help bank the unbanked and provide affordable, accessible financial products to the informal sector, traders and small businesses.

She also detailed how blockchain could be used to track agricultural products, thereby allowing retailers and even consumers to accurately track their food from farm to fork. International pilot projects have shown the potential of using this kind of technology to minimise the impact of food-borne diseases and outbreaks.

The technology could also be used in the tourism space in a range of applications from reducing ATM fraud to being able to easily track lost luggage.

More detail can be found in Minister Schäfer’s speech, which is attached.

Media Queries:

Bianca Capazorio
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Economic Opportunities
(Responsible for the Departments of Agriculture and Economic Development and Tourism)
Tel: 021 483 3550
Cell: 072 372 7044

South Africa’s first floating solar PV installation unveiled in the Western Cape

Marlenique, a fruit farm and wedding venue just outside of Franschhoek has unveiled a state of the art, floating solar PV system.

The system has been installed by New South Energy on the farm’s dam, helping to generate clean energy, while also minimising evaporation from the farm’s dam and saving valuable agricultural land.

The system is the first commercially operated floating solar system on the continent, and at 60kWp, it is also the largest.

The first phase of the project, which also includes a land-based solar installation on the farm, will allow the farm to run 90% of its energy intensive cold storage, irrigation and wedding venue facilities off of the traditional electricity grid.

A second phase which will see the installation of battery packs, will remove them from the grid completely.

Speaking at a launch event on the farm on Friday, Minister Beverley Schäfer said: “This project has looked at some of the key issues sustainability issues we are facing in agriculture and the economy today- water and energy- and has attempted to find solutions. The system reduces the farm’s reliance on the electricity grid, and provides clean, affordable energy supply, while at the same time also reducing evaporation and saving water. The knock on effect is that the business will save money in the long run, and create a business that is not only environmentally sustainable, but financially sustainable as well.”

Boplaas 1743, which owns and operates the farm, is one of the oldest family owned businesses in the country. Financial director Carl van der Merwe said the installation would reduce their carbon footprint by half. With rising electricity prices, and uncertainty around Eskom, the family made the decision to invest in solar.

“Marlenique farm is the highest energy user in our portfolio. We are aiming to be 100% green through solar energy solutions across our entire portfolio in the near future.”

Minister Schäfer said: “As the Western Cape Government we have been urging businesses to take up solar PV as an alternative energy source. We’ve seen uptake grow from just 18MW in 2015 to 112 MW today, which reduces demand on the grid and helps to diversify our energy mix. We are pleased to see businesses like Marlenique responding to our call to invest in resilience in such an innovative way.”

CEO of New South Energy David Masureik commended Boplaas for being innovators in the agricultural sector and said: “I would also like to thank the government for their interest in solutions that will inevitably encourage the sector to thrive. Without the support and encouragement from national and local government for industry to become more sustainable and independent in terms of power solutions, our business would not exist. We are honoured to take part in positive change happening across the public and private sector.”

GreenCape, the Western Cape Government's partner in developing the green sector, has also just published a brief on the solar industry, highlighting the various financing and incentive options available to businesses who are considering solar PV as an option.

The brief can be found here:

Minister Schäfer said: “Investments into alternative energy can help to reduce shocks on our economy from events like energy and water shortages and help to protect our economy and valuable jobs.”


The floating solar PV system installed on a dam at Marlenique helps to prevent evaporation and saves land for agricultural use.

Media Queries:

Bianca Capazorio
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Economic Opportunities
(Responsible for the Departments of Agriculture and Economic Development and Tourism)
Tel: 021 483 3550
Cell: 072 372 7044

Agriculture embraces Fourth Industrial Revolution with cutting edge satellite technology

The Department of Agriculture in the Western Cape is at the forefront of using technology to enhance sustainable farming, and as part of its initiative to embrace the fourth industrial revolution, has introduced Sentinel-2 earth observation technology.

Sentinel-2 is an earth observation satellite mission developed by the European Space Agency as part of their Copernicus Programme to perform terrestrial observations in support of a wide range of services, including agriculture.

Sentinel-2 is groundbreaking in agriculture and with 10-20m spatial resolution and a five-day revisit frequency, it represents a considerable improvement on the old agricultural remote sensing products.

Sentinel-2 also provides free access to data.

The department has developed a Sentinel portal and remote sensing tools which will leverage the extraordinary wealth of agriculturally relevant satellite data in an integrated platform which hides the complexities from non-specialist users.

These tools provide rapid access to near real-time information on vegetation (veld) and crop conditions resulting in quicker information flow and better decision making and understanding. It also allows for rapid assessment of natural disaster impacts such as fire scar extents, drought, crop failure and pest and disease damage. It also allows for a better assessment of crop conditions and resource use and is therefore particularly useful in the study of the impact of climate change.

Previously the only option to access satellite imagery was to browse through catalogues of images, select suitable cloud-free images and then download and archive each image, with all its multispectral wave bands.  This process was both laborious and highly data-intensive, whilst the subsequent analytical workflows required specialist skills and expensive software.

Sentinel-2 also makes use of cloud based services, which streamlines workflow.

The Department is currently exploring some of these cloud-based services in their geographic information system (GIS) and their very popular online tool, CapeFarmMapper (CFM).

Research commissioned by the Department and conducted by the University of Stellenbosch Business School last year revealed that in order for the Western Cape to achieve an “agri-renaissance”, the fourth industrial revolution should be embraced, and affordable technology be made more widely available.

Minister of Economic Opportunities, Beverley Schafer said: “The Sentinel-2 portal is a free-access space where ground breaking satellite imaging technology can be accessed and used to develop agriculture, respond to disasters and study the impacts of climate change. By making these tools available, the Department is contributing towards sustainable farming and the development of a food-secure province through the intelligent use of technology.”

Media Queries:

Bianca Capazorio
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Economic Opportunities
(Responsible for the Departments of Agriculture and Economic Development and Tourism)
Tel: 021 483 3550
Cell: 072 372 7044

SOPA 2019

On Friday, 15 February, Premier Helen Zille delivered her final State of the Province Address at the Western Cape Provincial Parliament. Premier Helen Zille will come to the end of her second successful 5 year term as Premier of the Western Cape. According to the Constitution of South Africa "No person may hold office as Premier for more than two terms,.." 

The year 2019 also marks 10 years of good governance, and 10 years of working Better Together.


For a summary of the Western Cape Government’s key achievements over the past 10 years, please refer to the attached brochure.

Minister Winde congratulates the Western Cape Winners of national Women’s Month awards

As Women’s Month draws to a close, two Western Cape businesses have received national recognition in separate awards ceremonies honouring women and women empowerment.

Western Cape pig farmer Leandre Mitchley walked away with the national award for the top small holder farming entrepreneur at the Female Entrepreneur Awards held in East London last week.

Leandre started her enterprise in 2011 with just two pigs on a rented small holding near Malmesbury, growing her business to 200 pigs, and branching out to include 20 sheep as well. However disease caused her to loose several of her pigs- a setback she is still trying to recover from.

Following her national award she said:  “I’m feeling very blessed and happy about my prize. I really need the prize money as I lost most of my pigs (due to diseases) from 2015 – 2017. I will use the money to replenish my stock. I have worked very hard and suffered tremendously and God blessed me with this prize.”

Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde said: “Leandre’s hard work and commitment to her business, even when times were tough were some of the attributes that made her a natural winner for the provincial prize. We are delighted that the national panel saw the same attributes, and we hope that this recognition and prize money will catapult her business to new heights.”

The Standard Bank Top Women Awards which were held in Gauteng last week recognised Green Cape as the top gender empowered company in the energy and utilities sector.

Women make up 57% of Green Cape’s 42 member team - a real achievement as the green economy, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields are typically male dominated fields.

Minister Winde said: “This award recognises the hard work that Green Cape is doing to ensure that women take their place in the energy sector. By ensuring that women are active participants in this sector, Green Cape is leading the way in helping other women enter these traditionally male-dominated fields.”

Western Cape farmer Leandre Mitchley won the national Female Entrepreneur Award in the small holder farming category at an event in East London.

Media Enquiries:

Bianca Capazorio
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Economic Opportunities
Tel: 021 483 3550
Cell: 072 372 7044


Top Western Cape women in agriculture honoured.

The Western Cape Department of Agriculture held its prize ceremony for the Female Entrepreneur Awards in Stellenbosch last 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.

Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde said: “This competition serves to recognise the work women are doing in Agriculture, which is such a male dominated space. It honours the role they play in food security, job creation and bringing foreign exchange into our economy. But more than that, each year as we go through the entries, we as a department are able to identify where the women are, see what they’re doing, and find ways to help nurture them, and help their business grow.”

The winners were:

Top entrepreneur: processing  |  Jeanne Groenewald, Elgin Free Range Chicken
Started 22 years ago with a few backyard chickens, the Elgin free range company now supplies major retailers and employs over 600 people.
Jeanne Groenewald says she hopes to develop and grow her company’s national footprint going forward.

Top Entrepreneur: Subsistence Farming  |  Magdalene Campbell, Beacon Organic Garden, Mitchell’s Plain
Situated on the school grounds of the Beacon School for Learners with Special Educational Needs, this garden provides skills training, as well as food for the school, the team’s own consumption and the surplus is sold to raise funds.
The garden uses organic farming practices and produces many different kinds of fresh vegetables and herbs.

Top Entrepreneur: Small Holder Farming  |  Leandre Mitchley, LS Pig Farming
Leandre Mitchley started out with just two pigs, but has grown this to 200- although the road has not been without struggle as she lost about 90 pigs along the way.
Her dream is to turn her business into a commercial facility and to open her own butchery.

Best Female Worker  |  Marta Klein, Baakensrug Farm
Marta Klein grew up on the farm and has lived there her whole life. She was given the opportunity to train as a butcher and has excelled in her craft. She has a Code 10 drivers’ license and has many different roles and responsibilities on the farm and is even the unofficial nurse, having helped deliver two babies.

Ministerial Award: Youth Entrepreneur  |  Liebre Jacobs Fruitlips
Liebre Jacobs was the runner up in the processing category and was chosen for the special ministerial award for young entrepreneurs.
Her Picketberg-based business buys third grade fruit and turns it into jams, sauces and chutneys. The business employs 17 permanent staff members, with about 50% of these being youth.

Minister Winde said: “We congratulate these women for their hard work and commitment to their enterprises, but also for the important roles they play in their communities. 300 000 people earn a living in our region because of agriculture, and when we look at our country’s struggle with youth unemployment, this is the sector that can help solve it. There are huge opportunities for young people, and especially young women in this sector and we hope that awards like these that put a spotlight on the various roles women can play in agriculture, will help attract more women to consider careers in the sector.”

The provincial winners will compete in the national awards which will be hosted by DAFF in East London on August 27.

Minister Winde with the Western Cape FEA winners. From left: : Leandre Mitchley, Marta Klein, Minister, Magdalene Campbell, Liebre Jacobs and Jeanne Groenewald.
Picture credit: Gizelle Van Wyk

Media Enquiries:

Bianca Capazorio
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Economic Opportunities
(Responsible for the Departments of Agriculture and Economic Development and Tourism)
Tel: 021 483 3550
Cell: 072 372 7044

DISASTER Survey Forms-Updated

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.
  4. Garden Route Fire (2018) Damage Form - download here

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:  Ms Jody Wentzel  |  Tel. 021 808 5368  |  Email:

Documents can also be downloaded here:  Disaster Risk Management


Want to study Agriculture?

Time is running out to apply to study at Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute in 2019, so hurry!

Closing date for applications: 30 June 2018. Visit Elsenburg College for more information on available courses and to download application forms.

Jump-start your career in agriculture. Apply now!

2018 Western Cape Prestige Agri Awards

Application for the Western Cape Prestige Agri Awards competition is now open

2018 Prestige Agri Awards officially launched

Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde has officially opened the 2018 Prestige Agri Awards.

This year marks the seventh year that the Department of Agriculture has partnered with supermarket giant Shoprite to sponsor the awards.

The competition aims to celebrate excellence among those working in the Provence’s agricultural industry, across 11 categories and in 16 districts.

The awards were originally started in 2002 by the Hex River Valley Association. Since then, over 10 000 people have participated.

Speaking at the launch of the awards, Minister Winde paid tribute to those who worked hard to ensure that the province’s agricultural industry continued to be one of the biggest economic and job creation sectors in the province.

“The awards are recognition for people who put so much of their energy into ensuring that there is food security, that there is foreign exchange coming into the country from exports, and that they can provide for their families,” he said.

Dr Johan van Deventer, General Manager at Freshmark, Shoprite's fruit and vegetable procurement and distribution arm, said that they have been a proud sponsor of the competition for the past seven years.

"Agri workers are the reason we are able to sell fresh, quality produce in our supermarkets on a daily basis and the Agri-Worker of the Year Awards are a great way to acknowledge and reward their hard work,"  he said.

An independent study into the impact of the awards conducted in 2015 found that the awards inspired pride in agricultural workers, encouraged them to learn new skills and created positive perceptions around agricultural work.

Last year’s winner - Hermanus Bienas from Vredendal - said he had been learning since being awarded the top prize last year.

He travelled to Germany as part of his prize, where he was exposed to agricultural and supermarket fresh produce practices in that country.

Winners of the regional awards will receive a cash prize, a certificate and trophy, and Shoprite vouchers. They will also go on to compete at the provincial awards to be held in November, where the overall Agri-worker of the year will be selected.

The overall winner walks away with a R25 000 cash prize, an overseas trip valued at R60 000, an IPad, Shoprite vouchers, data and a place on the prestige Agri- worker board which meets with Minister Winde each quarter to discuss issues in the sector.


Minister of Economic Opportunities, with Freshmark’s national buyer Chris Schutte.
Photograph: Gizelle van Wyk.



Media Enquiries:

Bianca Capazorio

Spokesperson for the Ministry of Economic Opportunities

Tel: 021 483 3550

Cell: 072 372 7044


Western Cape Department of Agriculture using innovative ways to communicate drought information

The Department of Agriculture has developed a series of new and innovative ways to communicate with the public about the drought and climate change.

The first of these is the department’s Drought Portal, a designated site where up to date information regarding the drought can be easily accessed. Farmers will also be able get up to date dam levels, complete a disaster survey and access a handy “drought toolkit”. This can be accessed by visiting

The department has also launched Gooi Agri,which allows users to upload short videos of their own smart-agriculture practices and techniques. Each month will be themed and the first theme is “drought and water”. While each theme will run for one month, the first theme will run until the end of May, because of the importance of water and the impact of the drought.

All videos can be uploaded online at or video clips can be sent via whatsapp to 062 044 9061. The best video clips will be featured on the website and shared via various media platforms. 

In addition, the department is producing a weekly radio programme called Die Kwik Styg on RSG.

The show, launched earlier this month, is presented by seasoned broadcaster Lizma Van Zyl.  The weekly programme focuses on climate change and includes internationally renowned experts as guest speakers. It is broadcast on Fridays at 12.45. Previous episodes are available on the RSG website for download.

Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde said “the drought and climate change impact us all, and the agricultural sector have been hit hard. However, these recent initiatives show that the department is looking at innovative ways to keep farmers and farming communities informed with up to date and accurate information that will help them make the best possible decisions going forward.”

Media enquiries:

Bianca Capazorio
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Economic Opportunities
021 483 3550
072 372 7044


Philippi Horticultural Area Plan (PHA)

The PHA is defined as “unique Agricultural Land” in terms of the National Policy on the Protection of High Potential and Unique Agricultural Land (2006), that is:  land that is or can be used for producing specific high value crops.

Documents can be downloaded here.

Western Cape Budget Speech 2018

Western Cape Finance Minister, Ivan Meyer, will deliver the annual provincial budget speech on 6 March 2018.

On 6 March 2018, Western Cape Finance Minister, Ivan Meyer, will deliver the annual provincial budget speech. 

For updates and you can follow the address on Facebook and Twitter

What is the provincial budget speech?

The provincial budget speech outlines our priority spending plan for the next financial year. 

During the speech Minister Meyer will provide us with an outline on how the province's finances will be spent over the next financial year. 

The Provincial Budget Policy Statement is shaped by the economic outlook and fiscal context and will focus on Integrated Management and Partnering to deliver a Budget for Growth. 

The Western Cape Government will continue to affirm its established fiscal and budget policy principles of allocative efficiency, fiscal sustainability, fiscal consolidation and fiscal discipline.

Key medium term budget policy priorities include making the Provincial Strategic Plan 2014 - 2019 and Game Changers happen and include prioritising inclusive, sustainable and smart growth.

Medium term expenditure priorities include initiatives to grow the Western Cape economy and create jobs, improve education outcomes, wellness and safety while building inclusive and sustainable living environment.

All budget policy priorities are supported by a strengthened approach to governance, integrated service delivery, partnerships and spatial alignment.

Read previous budget speeches

Western Cape Budget Speech 2017
Western Cape Budget Speech 2016
Western Cape Budget Speech 2015
Western Cape Budget Speech 2014
Western Cape Budget Speech 2013
Western Cape Budget Speech 2012
Western Cape Budget Speech 2011

Internship applications now open

Invitation to participate in the placement of unemployed graduates in agriculture, on farms for entrepreneurial development through the comprehensive agricultural support programme (casp) is now open.

Internship information

Z83 application form

Due date:  27 March 2018


Volstruisveiling / Ostrich Auction - Oudtshoorn