Home News 4 things happening in SA agri today, 16 July 2020

4 things happening in SA agri today, 16 July 2020

Support fund for youth-led environmental projects, Gauteng invites applications for advisory panel, new Northern Cape agri MEC gives first budget speech, and live sheep export verdict in Makhanda

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Halala, Mzansi, halala! It is day 111 of South Africa’s covid-19 lockdown, and if you are privileged to work in the agricultural space, there’s at least four big moves you should be watching today.

First up, we track a million rand development support fund for youth-led environmental projects, Gauteng opens applications for their advisory panel, the new Northern Cape MEC of agriculture delivers their first budget speech… and yes, the sheep will be separated from the goats in a big court verdict today.

1

R1 million for youth-led environmental projects

There is no doubt that the youth of Mzansi are filled with fresh and, quite often, transformative ideas. However, they often struggle to obtain the necessary support to translate their ideas into proposals for financial backing.

In an effort to drive change and pilot youth support initiatives countrywide, the department of environment, forestry and fisheries has reserved R1 million to fund youth-led projects. Young people are invited to submit project’s that tackle issues of climate change, waste, biodiversity and ecosystems.

Successful youth and youth-led organisations are each eligible for financial support of up to R100 000 per project. Programmes should contribute towards helping the country reach its developmental goals and address the unemployment crisis.

Applications are open until 31 August 2020. Interested parties can contact Dr Jenitha Badul, senior policy advisor, at 012 399 9272 or e-mail dfc@environment.gov.za for further information. Remember to tell her that you heard about the programme on Food For Mzansi.

2

First budget speech for new Northern Cape agri MEC

Newly-appointed Northern Cape MEC for agriculture, environmental affairs, land reform and rural development, Mase Manopole, will at 10:00 today present the budget speech for the two merging departments. Her speech follows just two weeks after she was appointed into her new portfolio.

In the combined portfolio, Manopole will look at, among others, conserving and protecting the natural environment and championing land and agrarian transformation. The speech will be streamed live on the department’s Facebook page.

3

Live sheep export verdict to be heard today

Earlier today, Food For Mzansi published a must-read feature on the future of 70 000 sheep originally destined for the Middle East. Now, a legal battle between the NSPCA and the Kuwait-based company is heading for a showdown in the Eastern Cape today.

If everything goes to plan, the Grahamstown High Court in Makhanda will today deliver its verdict on the matter that is putting a R16 million deal at risk. Food For Mzansi journalist Noluthando Ngcakani spoke to deputy executive director of Agri SA, Christo van der Rheede who said the “ping pong match” has become an expensive waiting game. And as the clock ticks, the predicament of the many Northern Cape farmers who would have benefitted from the off-take agreement will worsen.

4

Want to serve on a Gauteng advisory panel?

The MEC for Gauteng’s department of agriculture and rural development, Morakane Mosupyoe, is seeking to appoint suitably qualified candidates to serves on their external advisory panel on appeals.

The panel is appointed by the MEC every three years and makes written recommendations to the MEC on appeals lodged in an independent and impartial manner.

Mosupyoe calls on applicants who have technical expertise and experience in the fields of:

  • environmental speciality (including environment impact assessment, wetland, environmental technologist, biodiversity and environmental scientist);
  • agriculture;
  • town planning;
  • environmental and administrative law;
  • sustainable development;
  • geotechnology; and
  • community development.

Applicants who do not have any of the technical expertise in the above fields, but are involved in lobbying policymakers, representative groups in their communities or previously served in a parliamentary portfolio committees can also apply.

Interested individuals have until 26 July 2020 to hand-deliver written applications or nominations to the office of the MEC at Umnotho House, 16th floor, 56 Eloff Street, Johannesburg. Email applications are also considered and can be sent to appeals@gauteng.gov.za. For more information contact Sindisiwe Tshabalala on 011 355 8200/8462 or Nozipho Hlabangana on 011 240 3081.

Duncan Masiwa
Duncan Masiwa
DUNCAN MASIWA is a budding journalist with a passion for telling great agricultural stories. He hails from Macassar, close to Somerset West in the Western Cape, where he first started writing for the Helderberg Gazette community newspaper. Besides making a name for himself as a columnist, he is also an avid poet who has shared stages with artists like Mahalia Buchanan, Charisma Hanekam, Jesse Jordan and Motlatsi Mofatse.
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