Ivan Meyer, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, announced on Wednesday, 16 October that the new National Diploma to be offered at the Western Cape Government’s Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute has received SAQA (South African Qualifications Authority) accreditation.
The decision to offer the three-year diploma as from January 2020 is in line with the Western Cape Government’s stated intention to provide greater opportunities to our youth and in particular, access to a structured learning programme for prospective agriculture students.
“Agriculture provides for 17% of our total workforce in the Western Cape and 26.7% of agri-workers in South Africa,” Meyer says.
He added that agriculture is a global industry and the Western Cape is part of that inter-connected economy.
“The deciduous fruit, the wine and the citrus industries are the cornerstone of our agricultural economy.” According to Meyer, China imported 18.23 million litres of South African wines in 2017, an increase of 9.52 million litres over four years.
“Improving access to structured training is therefore a priority as it will not only contribute to the sustainability of the sector and job creation, but also equip a future workforce with the relevant skills to grow the sector and respond in an innovative way to the challenges it is facing.”
“I am committed creating more training opportunities for the youth, in the agricultural sector,” Meyer concludes.