The first regional winner of the 2016 Western Cape Prestige Agri Awards competition will be announced next week.
Alan Winde, MEC of Economic Opportunities, said the first regional competition would take place in Witzenberg in the Cape Winelands. Witzenberg consists of the five towns of Ceres, Tulbagh, Wolseley, Op-die-Berg and Prince Alfred’s Hamlet.
The winner of last year’s Witzenberg regional competition, Lien Visagie, described how her life had changed since the achievement. Visagie, who is involved with several social development initiatives at the Donkerbos farm, said her win had given her the confidence to pursue more projects in her community, and to upskill herself.
She manages the crAche and aftercare centre at the Donkerbos and Disselfontein farms. In addition, Visagie chairs the Early Childhood Development and Afterschool Care Forum in the Koue Bokkeveld, Prince Alfred’s Hamlet and Warm Bokkeveld districts. As the director of the Eyethu Intaba land reform project, Visagie is also playing an active role in driving transformation in Witzenberg.
“I am completing an isiXhosa course so I can communicate with more residents in the community. In October, I’ll start an executive support course at UCT, which will give me a better chance to help with the successful management of the business. I’ve also already completed a course to improve my maths skills.”
Visagie is running a campaign to protect victims of abuse, and will embark on projects to assist youth and senior citizens. The Western Cape Prestige Agri Awards is a partnership between the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and the Shoprite Group.
Shoprite is proud to partner with the Western Cape Prestige Agri Awards as it honours agri workers who make a significant contribution to South Africa’s economy. Through Freshmark, the supermarket chain’s fruit and vegetable procurement and distribution arm, Shoprite is able to keep its promise of bringing customers freshness at the lowest price.
The competition in Witzenberg takes place on 28 July at 18:00 at the Kaleo Guest Farm, Koue Bokkeveld. It is the first of 15 regional competitions set to take place across the Western Cape.
MEC Winde wished the entrants well ahead of the start of the regional competitions and commended them for their contribution to the agriculture sector.
“Our agriculture sector added over 80 000 jobs to the economy last year. Through the Prestige Agri Awards, we are seeking to honour the men and women who help to grow agriculture. The entrants of this competition play a vital role in ensuring our reputation as a world-class producer.”
A winner, runner-up and second runner-up will be selected in each of the following 11 categories:
The winner in each category and the overall winner in each region will go through to the provincial competition.
The Western Cape’s top agricultural worker will be announced during a gala ceremony on Saturday, 5 November 2016. The overall winner receives a cash prize, Shoprite vouchers and an overseas trip.
As part of the judging process, entrants are scored on their overall knowledge of the agriculture sector and finance issues in the country and on-farm, including budgeting and costing. Entrants are assessed on topics such as Black Economic Empowerment and the export chain. Experience and agricultural skills are also key criteria.
Over 6 000 agriculture employees have entered the competition since 2002. In 2015, 1 247 agri workers participated in the competition, a 20% increase from the previous year.
For more information on the regional competitions, see attached.
Source: South African Government.