This morning, the Western Cape Judge President conducted the swearing in ceremony for Minister of Economic Opportunities, Beverley Schäfer.
Minister Schäfer has been a member of the provincial legislature since 2014, and was the chairperson of the standing committee on economic opportunities, tourism and agriculture before her appointment to the provincial cabinet.
Minister Schäfer has already hit the ground running, addressing the agriculture stakeholders meeting – a forum in which all of the major agricultural interest groups – including researchers and academics and commodity organisations – meet twice a year. The forum aims to discuss the issues that will set the agenda for the Department of Agriculture in the province going forward.
Minister Schäfer will also host her first ever First Thursday event at the Ministry’s Long Street offices this evening.
Tomorrow, she will make the keynote address at Wesgro’s Year in Review event, and on Saturday, she will attend the Prestige Agri Worker Awards ceremony, where the overall winner of the competition will be announced.
Minister Schäfer said: “The economy and creating jobs is at the centre of what we do in the Western Cape government and as such, my focus will continue to be on the programmes that have made it possible to create 95 000 new jobs in the past year in the province.”
“Going forward, I will place great emphasis on youth development and the ways in which we can unlock economic opportunities and skills for young people.”
“I would also like to focus on the point at which big business and SMMEs intersect, and finding ways in which we can partner big businesses with small suppliers. We need to be creating a supportive ecosystem in which those small local businesses, whether they be a sewing business, a baker or a construction company, are able to become the new generation of big business.