by Western Cape Agriculture & Economic Development

Reaping success

Western Cape's top agricultural employee announced

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Anton Alexander has been named the winner of the 2016 Prestige Agri Worker Awards.Alexander hails from the Elgin, Grabouw, Vyeboom and Villiersdorp (EGV&V) region where he works as an HR (human resources) officer at the Ouwerf Farm (Crookes Brothers).

"Agriculture is more than a job, it is a lifestyle," commented Alexander, who was named the Western Cape's top agricultural employee at a gala ceremony that took place at the Nederburg Wine Estate in Paarl on Saturday (5 November 2016) night.

Alexander has been working at the Ouwerf Farm for the past twenty years. Initially employed as a general worker, he has held different positions, including that of a tractor driver and supervisor, before being promoted to HR officer.Alexander hopes his achievement will inspire others: "If we are proud of who we are, it will spill over to the next generation."

Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, congratulated Alexander and praised the example he sets for others.

"Anton is an ambassador for our agriculture sector. He's making a major contribution to the farm where he works, but he is also dedicated to encouraging young people to enter the sector. By being dedicated to his work, and by learning new skills, he has achieved major progression in his career. I am confident that his success will serve as an inspiration to young agriculturalists."

In addition to winning the title of the Western Cape's Agri Worker of the Year 2016, Alexander also won an iPad Air sponsored by Daleen Turner Consultancy, a R20 000 Shoprite gift voucher, a R60 000 overseas study tour and R20 000 cash sponsored by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture. Alexander also joins the competition's previous winners as a member of the Minister for Economic Opportunities' Prestige Agri Worker Forum."Through the Prestige Agri Worker Forum, I am looking forward to working with Anton on growing our sector, especially in encouraging our agri workers to take their careers to new heights," said Winde.

The Western Cape Prestige Agri Awards is co-sponsored by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and Shoprite, Africa's largest food retailer."Communities are at the core of Shoprite's business - they are our customers, our employees and of course our suppliers. Agri workers make such an important contribution to South Africa's economy - these individuals are the reason we're able to sell quality produce in our supermarkets on a daily basis," said Dr Johan van Deventer, General Manager at Freshmark (Shoprite's fruit and vegetable procurement and distribution arm).

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