The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will award bursaries to deserving high school learners in the De Doorns region in the Western Cape this academic year.
The announcement was made by Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana during a pre-Sate of the Nation Address (SONA) community engagement with the farming community of De Doorns on Monday.
“The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will be awarding bursaries to hard working, talented and deserving learners in this region,” said the Minister.
The department’s external bursary scheme has three categories – high school bursary, undergraduate bursary and postgraduate bursary.
Minister Zokwana’s community meeting was a direct follow-up to the dialogues which Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa had with the farming community in the Boland last November, where he committed that government would return to the area early this year.
“The underlying purpose of this visit is to ascertain the critical facets of a working farming model, which can later be utilised as an ideal model to resolve the persisting working conditions of vulnerable workers across the country.
“This intervention will include the profiling of farms with the best farming practices that can serve as models to be replicated in the rest of the Western Cape and later on rolled out in the rest of the country,” said Minister Zokwana.
The farms that will be selected will be based on the real working relationship and good farming practices between the farmer and farm workers.
During his visit, Deputy President Ramaphosa said focus will be put on the following interventions to improve the lives of farmworkers:
– Stopping the evictions of farmworkers
– Abolishing the ‘dop’ (paying workers with cheap wine) system and managing its devastating impact
– Providing decent housing for the community of farmworkers
– Providing quality health services and
– Building models of patriotic and progressive farming practices.
Government has monitored farm evictions and established a toll-free line to report evictions.
Source : SAnews.gov.za