Yesterday, the Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, accompanied by the Executive Mayor of the Cape Winelands District Municipality, Dr Helena von Schlicht, addressed local farmers in Tulbagh.
During the address, Minister Meyer highlighted the importance of agriculture in the Witzenberg region.
Minister Meyer: “The Agriculture Sector contributes 13% and agri processing another 12% to the economy of Witzenburg. The agricultural value chain employs 33 % of the labour force in the region.”
Responding to questions raised regarding rural safety and the support provided by the local municipality to the Agricultural Sector, Meyer stressed that the Western Cape Government viewed rural safety as a critical priority.
“It is for this reason that we have established a rural safety desk to monitor incidences of farm attacks. Through our court watching briefs, we can also ensure that reported cases are professionally investigated and prosecuted. For further information, please email Ruralsafety@elsenburg.com .”
“Growing the economy, creating jobs, and facilitating wellbeing and dignity within our communities is the strategic focus of the Western Cape Government. An attack on a farmer or an agri-worker is an attack on the dignity of our communities. It is also an attack on the rural economy of the Western Cape.”
“Agriculture is dependent on reliable water and energy sources as well as good rural road infrastructure. So, the best support that can be given to the Agricultural Sector by a municipality is a well-run, efficient, financially sound municipality that can provide water and energy security.”
“We also continue to engage with the relevant authorities to address the inefficiencies in the Port of Cape Town, which is bedevilling the export of agricultural produce from the Western Cape.”
“Commercial agriculture in the Western Cape contributed R 64.4 billion in revenue in 2017. Improving the Port of Cape Town operations ensures that agriculture continues to create jobs and grow the economy,” concludes Meyer.