Agricultural workers make a valuable contribution to the sustainability and growth of the sector. Together with the farmers, they are the driving force of food security in the country. On Saturday, 4 November 2023, the Western Cape department of agriculture’s hosted its annual Western Cape Prestige Agri Awards (WCPAA) gala ceremony to honour and celebrate agri workers.
Jakobs takes top honours
Vivian Jakobs from Crispy Farming, Du Toit Group, Witzenberg was announced as the 2023 Western Cape Prestige Agri Awards winner at the Protea Hotel Marriot Techno Park in Stellenbosch.
Jakobs said that the competition has been an exceptional journey for him.
“To all the farmers, agri workers and representatives from the different regions, we are one. Our main purpose is to ensure that the man on the street gets the best possible products on their table. We need to ensure that there is food today, tomorrow, and the days after. Let us put in all our effort to ensure that.”
For the year 2023/24, a total of 1067 agri workers participated in the competition.
The Western Cape minister of agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, emphasised the importance of agricultural workers and said he is extremely proud of the quality of the province’s agri workers who took part in the competition.
“I view this competition to be important because it provides due recognition to the hardworking agri workers that support this sector’s growth. And thus, an investment in agri workers is an investment in the future of farming,” he said.
All the regional winners
Agri workers competed against each other in eleven different categories at the regional level, in 15 different regions. The regional winners of each category proceeded to the provincial level, where they competed to win the provincial category award, as well as the coveted title of the overall winner.
Regional winners are Lekgotla Mabombo (Bergrivier); Bernard Louw (Breede Valley); Tashwill Toto (Central Karoo); Lance du Toit (Elgin, Grabouw, Vyeboom and Villiersdorp); Simon Zeeman (Franschhoek); Ntombifuthi Mphetshwa (Garden Route); Thomas Oosthuizen (Klein Karoo); Mabonele Molefi (Hexvallei); Jacobus Fredericks (Langeberg); Hermiena Hendricks (Piket-Bo-Berg); Priscilla Hektor (Olifantsrivier); Dirk Joubert (Overberg); Ronald Jordaan (Stellenbosch); Marlon Coert (Swartland) and Vivian Jakobs (Witzenberg).
Stephen Satira of the Breede Valley region was acknowledged as the agri worker who displayed the best potential in this year’s competition.
The Franschhoek region was announced as best best-performing region for this year’s competition.
Acknowledging agri workers
This annual departmental event, in collaboration with Shoprite Pty (Ltd), aims to acknowledge the valuable contribution of agri workers to the province.
Pieter van Zyl, general manager of procurement at Shoprite Freshmark, said, “Shoprite Checkers Pty (Ltd) is proud to be associated with this competition. One that highlights the positive stories in agriculture.
“We are also very thankful for the opportunity to be able to give back to the agricultural community which has supported us through the years. We are all involved in the agri worker competition for the love and passion of agriculture because we all play a cardinal role in food security not just in the Western Cape but in the whole of South Africa.”
The Western Cape department of agriculture, led by Meyer and head of department Dr Mogale Sebopetsa, congratulated Jakobs on his award and added that he will inspire many other agri workers to persevere and to feel proud of their invaluable role within the agricultural sector and the province.
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