Four things happening in SA agriculture today, 17 September 2020

Level 1 brings some good news, we meet livestock auctioneers, PLAAS continues dialogue on spatial politics and AgriSETA extends closing date for apprenticeships

Not to be Missed

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Fellow South Africans, as we near the end of the busy week in the agricultural industry, it seems the new dawn officially takes effect with level 1 next week Monday.

With pres. Cyril Ramaphosa’s coronavirus-related announcement in his Wednesday evening address to the nation comes a few changes many South Africans are looking forward to.

Today we join the Institute of Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) for its continued dialogue on spatial politics and displacement.

AgriSETA has extended the closing date to afford TVET colleges and employers the opportunity to host artisans in an apprenticeship programme that will benefit 400 young people.

And on today’s episode of the AgriSETA Learner Connect we are joined by auctioneers with industry insights to share.


Wake Up Mzansi, level one is here

South Africans you have “withstood”! Come Monday a new dawn awaits as we usher in a new level of freedom under level 1 of government’s risk adjusted strategy to contain the coronavirus crisis.

On Wednesday evening (16 September) Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa announced the relaxing of several restrictions that would come into effect at midnight on 20 September. They include limited cross-border travel, the easing of curfew and extension of liquor store operating hours, among other things.

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The move recognizes that levels of infection have decreased and that there was sufficient capacity in the health system to manage the current need, explained Ramaphosa in his address to the nation.

Citizens have however been cautioned to remain vigilant as the possibility of a second wave of covid-19 infections is still on the horizon. Citizens must at all times stick to health protocols such as washing hands, social distancing and mask wearing.

Here is what you can look forward to next week:

  • Social, religious, political, and other gatherings are permitted at 50% capacity of the venue.
  • International travel restrictions will gradually and cautiously be eased – international travel for leisure and business will be permitted from 1 October 2020.
  • The hours of curfew have been changed and now apply between midnight and 04:00.
  • The sale of alcohol at retail outlets for home consumption is permitted from Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 17:00.

The tourism sector is one of our greatest economic drivers and we are now ready to welcome visitors to enjoy or mountains, beaches and vibrant cities, Ramaphosa affirmed.


AgriSETA Learner Connect: meet an auctioneer 

On today’s podcast episode of the AgriSETA Learner Connect we are joined by auctioneers and founders of Lizwe Meat, Athenkosi Denga (27) and Soyama Mtongana (27).

The duo surely have ample insight to offer on the ins and outs of the auctioneering business for youth looking into the career. As an auctioneer you take the reigns on the auction block and in the sales ring, facing bidders in the audience.

They point out any particularly desirable qualities that an individual animal may have, and they mention general information like pedigree, age, and breeder. They begin to chant the asking price, raising the bids in regular increments as they look around the sales area and receive bids from interested parties.

If this sounds like your cup of tea, don’t miss the story later today.

If you missed the last episode of AgriSETA Learner Connect, click here.


PLAAS puts spotlight on land availability

Covid-19 has aggravated the urban land question, with evictions spiking while public land is leased out or sold.

Through its dialogue at 13:00 today, the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies will explore the topic “Equitable access to land: Constraints and proposals for the future”.

Urban land activists and their allies claimed a significant victory in the Tafelberg case in the Western Cape High Court with implications for landless and homeless people around the country. After a five year struggle the court told the state that it had been violating people’s right to equitable access to land by selling public land that could be used to provide housing for the homeless.

The judgement challenges spatial inequality of major cities and affirms that public land must be used to promote integrated cities and access to adequate housing as per section 26 of the Constitution.

This webinar builds on previous conversations about linking urban and rural land struggles by researchers and activists.

Interested parties may join the discussion here.


400 apprenticeship opportunities still up for grabs

SETA-approved public TVET colleges and employers take note, the date to submit apprenticeship applications have been extended until 27 September.

The apprenticeship initiative is a joint venture between the Agricultural Sector Education Training Authority (AgriSETA) and the department of public works and infrastructure.

Through the expanded public works programme (EPWP), AgriSETA and the department have committed to train 400 apprentices in various trades across the economic spectrum throughout the country.

In August AgriSETA announced the allocation of R66 million which has been set aside to train 400 EPWP participants to hone their artisanal crafts.

In light of the covid-19 pandemic, applicants must comply with strict regulations under national lockdown.

The agreement to implement the artisan development programme will commence effective immediately and is set to continue until 30 September 2023.

Applicants are urged to only apply via email or online application. Applications must be sent to, or apply here.

  • Do you have an upcoming event that should be on Food For Mzansi’s watchlist? Drop us an email to and we’ll do our best to include it in this weekday feature.
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