GENERAL

WESTERN CAPE AGRICULTURE PROMOTES SUSTAINABLE RESOURCE USE AND MANAGEMENT

This year, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture commemorates World Environment Day (WED) by encouraging the agricultural sector to adopt sustainable resource use and management practices. Climate change poses a threat to food and job security in the agricultural sector. For this reason, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) is committed to managing its resources more sustainably. I am proud that the agricultural sector in the Western Cape has adopted sustainable resource use and management practices. Both research and recorded incidents have shown...

Humble beginning of first 100% Black-owned Boutique Wine Farm – Klein Goederust in Franschhoek

There’s a feeling of exhilaration of victory around the newly transformed Klein Goederust boutique winery in Franschhoek owned by Paul Siguqa and his wife, which opened its doors in December 2021 and is already making its mark in the tourism industry. In the wake of acquiring the land in 2019, renovating and restoring the 116 year old vineyard and its historic buildings, Siguqa is now the first black man to own a boutique wine farm in Franschhoek. He describes the first...

Seed of Hope for Naomi Herbs Project

Naomi Herbs, situated in the Stellenbosch area, is best known for their high quality herbs and vegetables. This farming project was established by Naomi Linders as a sole-beneficiary who takes pride in growing fresh and excellent quality herbs and vegetables. The Western Cape Department of Agriculture supported the project financially through their Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP).  Casidra used the CASP funding to implement the project by procuring garden tools, boreholes, electronic equipment, greenhouses and production inputs. A delighted Naomi expressing...

GOOD NEWS NATURAL PRODUCE EMPOWERED FOR BETTER

The Good News Natural Produce project situated in Atlantis aspires to produce the best quality chillies with no adverse impact on the environment. Casidra procured infield irrigation, fencing, implements and production inputs within three months after the project received funding from the WCDoA’s Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme.  According to our Project Manager, Yandisa Ndongeni, Casidra’s role was to ensure that high quality items are procured, excellent project management advice is applied and the project is completed within a specific timeframe. “I...

WESTERN CAPE LAUNCHES AGRI-PROCESSING ON WHEELS INITIATIVE IN OVERBERG

The Western Cape Minister of Agriculture Dr Ivan Meyer, accompanied by the Executive Mayor of the Overberg District Municipality, Alderman Sakkie Franken, launched the Western Cape Department of Agriculture's mobile Agri-Processing on Wheels Initiative in Bredasdorp. The Agri-processing On Wheels Initiative will enable officials to develop the agri-processing capacity in the Western Cape by offering workshops to interested groups across the Western Cape Cape. Speaking at the launch Minister Meyer highlighted that agri-processing is emerging as an essential sub-sector with the potential...

WESTERN CAPE AGRICULTURE ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF FOOD GARDEN COMPETITION

On Monday, 9 May 2022, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture Dr Ivan Meyer announced the Food Garden Competition winners in the Overberg District. Winners are: Youth category: Bradlene Baadtjies-Callacher Household category: Nobekile Duba School Garden category: De Rust Futura High School Winners received trophies, certificates, vouchers and cash prizes. The competition aligns with Minister Meyer's One Home, One Garden Campaign response to the increased threat of food insecurity aggravated by the Covid 19 pandemic. Meyer: "The One Home, One Garden Campaign is a drive to combat the...

WESTERN CAPE AGRICULTURE EXTENDS MOU WITH COMMODITY ORGANISATIONS

Officials from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) and Commodity partners met last week to extend their Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) for another three years. This sets the platform for commodity organisations to continue to support new farmers with advice, mentorship, training, inputs, market access, and mutual in-kind contributions. Agreements were signed with the National Wool Growers Association (NWGA), Deciduous Fruit Producers Trust (DFPT), Vinpro (Wine), South African Table Grape Industry (SATGI), South African Poultry Association (SAPA), Potatoes SA, Raisins...

WESTERN CAPE COMMITS R5M TO COMBAT LOCUST INFESTATION IN THE KAROO

The Western Cape Department of Agriculture has made R5 million immediately available to provide support in personal protective equipment, sprayer pumps and aerial spraying support to teams combatting the outbreak of locust swarms in the Western Cape.  Casidra is part of the joint operation team to ensure that the combatting of locust infestation is successfully operated, as this is critical for food security and rural livelihoods. The locust infestation levels, including the new areas they have migrated into, have placed enormous...

WESTERN CAPE COMMEMORATES WORLD FOOD DAY

On the 16th of October 2021, the Western Cape will join the rest of the world in commemorating World Food Day. In the lead up to World Food Day 2021, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) supported by its implementing company, Casidra recently hosted an event in the Witzenberg area. The occasion provided the Department and its partners with the opportunity to support the local community, household and school food security projects. This year, 179 households and 12 diverse community projects...

MINISTER MEYER WELCOMES SCA FINDINGS IN FAVOUR OF WESTERN CAPE AGRICULTURE

I welcome the news that the Supreme Court of Appeal(SCA) yesterday handed down judgement in favour of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture regarding the Auditor-General's appeal against the Western Cape High Court ruling in favour of the Department. The SCA judgement confirms the earlier decision handed down by the Western Cape Division of the High Court to set aside the Auditor General's qualified audit reports on the Western Cape Department of Agriculture for the financial years ending 31 March 2017...

We welcome new Board members

Thandiwe Moutlana has more than 20 years of industry and consulting experience with large local and multinational companies in mining, manufacturing, financial services, biotechnology, fast moving consumer goods, and government. Thandiwe is the CEO of Managed Analytics, a mining-tech company that provides analytics, optimisation and decision support solutions.  She is also the founder and Director of Brown Ivory Group, a consulting firm focusing on supporting black-owned SMEs in Southern Africa.  Thandiwe has worked in multiple firms including SABMiller, Fevertree Consulting,...

WEST COAST PROJECTS TO BE FUNDED BY WESTERN CAPE AGRICULTURE

With much excitement, the Greenhands Community Food Garden project in Stompneus Bay on the West Coast and Middelpos Farm near Malmesbury received the news that the Western Cape Government will be funding their respective projects in this current financial year. Petronella Ponie of the Greenhands Community Food Garden Project says that the project will provide Stompneus Bay with an affordable,  nutritious and sustainable food source. Ponie says: “It has been hard work to get the garden established. Our volunteers are mostly women....

MINISTERS DIDIZA AND MEYER COMMISSION EBENHAESER IRRIGATION SCHEME

On Saturday 12 June 2021, the National Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza and Western Cape Minister for Agriculture, Ivan Meyer, officially commissioned the Ebenhaeser Irrigation Scheme, West Coast District. The commissioning of the Ebenhaeser Irrigation Scheme follows the successfully concluded 2020 Ebenhaeser land restitution claim. In terms of the claim, the national and provincial government would ensure the revitalisation of the Ebenhaeser Irrigation Scheme and upgrade the off-farm irrigation infrastructure to ensure the on-farm viability of farming. The...

Casidra’s Regional Office implementation of Garden Route Municipality SMME Support Project

Casidra is currently implementing the Small Micro Medium Enterprises (SMME) project on behalf of the Garden Route District Municipality to support and develop entrepreneurs in the area. This Municipality has made R608 000 available to grow and develop 20 identified small emerging businesses to grow and develop after facing serious challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The identified businesses being supported range from needlework initiatives, funeral parlours, construction companies, events management companies, etc. Casidra, known for its reputable financial management, will...

PREMIER ALAN WINDE AND MINISTER MEYER CONGRATULATE DRONE PILOTS

Premier of the Western Cape Alan Winde joined the Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, at the Wings Ceremony of 18 newly qualified drone pilots. The officials recently completed the South African Civil Aviation Authority examination to obtain a Remote Pilot License (RPL).  Speaking at the event, Minister Meyer highlighted that the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) embraces the 4th IR and the use of associated technologies such as drone technology. Minister Meyer: “Drone technology will play an increasing role...

YOUTH INSPIRED FOOD GARDEN MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN ELSIES RIVER

Yesterday, the Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, visited the Trinity Youth Garden based at Trinity Place in Elsies River. Inspired by the Climate Justice Movement and a desire to make a difference in their community, brothers Geronimo and Valentino de Klerk began the garden in a dumping space previously utilised as an escape route by local criminals. The open space has been transformed into a community garden supporting several local feeding projects in the area. De Klerk: "We have been...

e-BOOKLETS TO FAST TRACK CLIMATE CHANGE RESILIENCE IN AGRICULTURE

Yesterday, the Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, launched the Western Cape Department of Agriculture’s (WCDoA’s) e-booklets on climate change entitled “The Mercury Rises”. Based on the popular award-winning radio series “Die Kwik Styg", the e-booklets are available in the three official languages of the Western Cape – English, Afrikaans and IsiXhosa. Speaking at the launch Minister Meyer highlighted that climate change is one of his ministerial priorities. Meyer: “Addressing the impact of climate change is one of my Ministerial priorities....

WESTERN CAPE AGRICULTURE BUDGET 2021 – “A BUDGET TO SUPPORT ECONOMIC RECOVERY”

Today I tabled the Western Cape Agriculture Budget 2021 in the Provincial Parliament. I announced a total budget of R909.086 million. This budget facilitates the critical role that the Agricultural Sector plays to drive the economy and create jobs in the Western Cape. We have allocated R122.724m to Sustainable Resource Use and Management R274.986m to Agricultural Producer Support and Development R97.093m to Veterinary Services R141.115m to Research and Technology Development Services R46.971m to Agricultural and Economic Services R57.393m to Agricultural Education and Training and R28.958 to Rural Development   To support the...

ALIEN CLEARING PROJECTS CREATE 1000 JOBS PER ANNUM

Earlier today, the Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, visited the Western Cape Department of Agriculture's (WCDoA) alien clearing project at Zonquasdrift located downstream of the Berg River in the Drakenstein Municipality, Cape Winelands. According to the Minister, protecting, maintaining, and restoring the Province's ecological infrastructure is a critical part of the work done by the WCDoA. Minister Meyer: "Firstly, removal of invasive alien plants (IAP's) that use excessive amounts of water will increase water available to the agricultural, domestic...

A YOUNG FEMALE FARMER FEELS EMPOWERED

Mrs Lesley Morrison, a 35 year old female farmer of free range chicken and CASP beneficiary based in Hopefield, received the transfer of ownership documentation for a Mahinda Bolero loader 2.5 with a towbar and canopy from Casidra's Project Manager, Mr Khaya Dzula, on the16th of February 2021. Her project's application for a vehicle was approved and funded by the WCDoA's White Meat CPAC in 2017. We wish her every success with her project.

TRANSFER OF ASSET TO BIADICA 60 FARM

Casidra handed a Isuzu vehicle (bakkie) to Shereen Abrahams, a beneficiary/farmer of Biadica 60 on the 5th of February 2021. This follows after Biadica 60 received CASP funding from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture five years ago. We are very excited and wish them all the success with their farm. #FortheLoveofAgriculture.

A WARM WELCOME TO OUR NEW CEO

Stuart has acted in the capacity of MD, CEO and non-executive director in the perishable FMCG sector over the last twenty years. More specifically, he has led organizations in the public and private sectors, both in South Africa and Europe that were involved in very complex, fresh fruit export value chains. In the private sector, Stuart has helped turn around multi-billion rand companies relatively quickly. This was achieved by looking at every facet of the businesses to see where things could be...

WESTERN CAPE MARKET ACCESS PROGRAMME SUPPORTS AGRIBUSINESSES

Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, recently visited Marice Mercuur, winner of the Ministerial Special Award for Youth at the 2019 Western Cape Female Entrepreneur Awards Competition. What started for Mercuur as a quest to find a remedy to treat her daughter's severe eczema has resulted in her business, Marice Mercuur (Pty) Ltd. Today, she manufactures and supplies health and beauty products. Mercuur proudly said, “I started experimenting with glycerine soap and rooibos tea. I was amazed by the results, as...

WCDoA supports wine tourism employees with R12 million support funding

 The Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) will be providing crucial relief to employees in the South African wine tourism sector, in the form of a R12 million support funding. The Wine Tourism Worker Support Stipend (WTWSS) was officially launched at Elsenburg. The aim is to safeguard the continuous employment of wine tourism workers by subsidising their salaries for a key quarter of the tourism calendar. Dr Ivan Meyer, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, said: “The Western Cape Cabinet has prioritised economic...

FOOD SECURITY: ONE HOME ONE GARDEN LAUNCH

Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, and Minister of Agriculture, Ivan Meyer, launched the One Home-One Garden initiative for the Metro in Mitchell's Plain. A huge word of thanks and congratulations goes to our Casidra Food Security team led by Michael Mackenzie who were hands on to ensure the availability of food garden starter packs for distribution to the needy. Casidra is extremely proud of our Team for continuing to raise our flag high.  You are a bunch of winners!  Meyer emphasised, "We are encouraging...

ACEO’s Desk: VOTE OF APPRECIATION FOR THE YEAR

In a year that will go down in history books as a time that brought the world literally to a complete standstill due to COVID-19, we operated in an environment where the economic realities and social challenges deteriorated. This has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic that has reaped havoc worldwide, causing major disruptions to economies and the unfortunate loss of life of many. Casidra had to adapt fast and ensure that it continues with its primary mandate – that of...

FIRST GROUP OF DRONE PILOTS RECEIVE THEIR WINGS

On the 25th of November 2020, the Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, officiated at the Wings Ceremony of recently qualified drone pilots affiliated to the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA). The WCDoA assisted the group consisting of students, interns and officials to successfully sit for the South African Civil Aviation Authority examination to obtain their Remote Pilot License (RPL). Training was provided by Drone-X, a Civil Aviation Authority approved drone training school. Speaking at the Wings Ceremony, Minister Meyer congratulated the...

RECORD GRAIN HARVEST WILL BOLSTER ECONOMIC RECOVERY

Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, accompanied by Executive Mayor Sakkie Franken of the Overberg District Municipality and Mayor Paul Swart of the Cape Agulhas Municipality recently visited grain farming enterprise, Agri Dwala (Pty) Ltd in Napier in the Overberg region. The visit comes off the back of the news that the Western Cape is expecting one of the largest winter grains and oilseed crop in recent history, shattering previous records. Commenting on the forecasted bumper year, Minister Meyer said: “The...

5 Days of Remembrance

While we have made significant strides in containing the COVID-19 pandemic, we are saddened that, as a nation, we have lost many lives as a result of COVID-19. Many families have lost their relatives who have succumbed to COVID-19. We have lost frontline workers who died in the line of duty, paying the ultimate sacrifice, while trying to save the lives of others from COVID-19.

LONG SERVICE AND TOP PERFORMER AWARDS 2020

Congratulations to the following employees who received their long service and top performance awards.  5-Year Long Service receivers are Justin Janse, Yandisa Ndongeni, Constance Makhuvha, Loinice Seconds, Wouter Kriel and Warren Marcus.  Andrea Pretorius received her 10-year long service award.  The top performers for 2020 were Jacques Swanepoel in the third place, Lynette Neethling in the second place and Warren Marcus as the overall winner.  Well done! Awards

MINISTER IVAN MEYER VISITS SMALL- SCALE FARMERS IN EBENHAESER

Western Cape Minister of Agriculture Dr Ivan Meyer recently visited small-scale farmers in Ebenhaeser, in the Matzikama Municipality District. Two such farmers are Natasha Love and Niklaas Le Roux who are both supported by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA).  Natasha farms on two hectares and produces Chenin Blanc grapes.  The grapes are sold to Cederberg Cellar. The wine is then produced, bottled and exported to Sweden.    Natasha stated, “The Western Cape Department of Agriculture kindly took us by the hand...

WORLD FOOD DAY 2020 COMMEMORATION IN RIETPOORT

During this year’s World Food Day, the Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, visited several vegetable garden projects in Rietpoort, in the Matzikama Municipality, West Coast District. During the visit, Minister Meyer highlighted the importance of food security. Minister Meyer said, “Food security is essential for the development of the nation. It is for this reason that the Western Cape Government is currently rolling out household and community food gardens across the Western Cape.” Meyer continued: "We are encouraging households to...

The PERO AND MERO HIGHLIGHTS AGRICULTURE’S COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

I am pleased to note that the recently tabled Provincial Economic Review and Outlook (PERO) and Municipal Economic Review and Outlook (MERO) highlights the Agricultural Sector’s competitive advantage. The PERO and MERO draws insights from data and evidence-based research into the Agricultural Sector in the Western Cape. Some of the key highlights as it relates to the Agricultural Sector are: Agriculture was the only sector that positively contributed to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in the 2nd quarter, contributing to the resilience...

SMALL-SCALE FARMERS PLAY A CRITICAL ROLE IN FOOD SECURITY

The Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) recently partnered with Agri-Expo to present a farmer day, themed Small-Scale Farmers in an Urban Environment. The SPCA in Grassy Park hosted the farmer day. Agri-Expo made the event accessible via an online platform. Topics varied from livestock suitable for the environment, livestock pests and parasites in confined spaces and how one farming enterprise can benefit another. Addressing the audience, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture highlighted that farmer support and development was one of his priorities. Minister...

One Home One Garden Campaign

https://youtu.be/p2ZoQHxR9dQ   The Western Cape government says COVID-19 has highlighted how critical food security is. A campaign launched before the pandemic, One Home One Garden, has been ramped up to assist communities. Starter kits, including seedlings, compost, and other gardening equipment are being handed out to encourage food gardens. A community garden project in Mitchells Plain on the Cape Flats received a boost as part of the project.

Helpful Tips for Women Farmers

Women farmers make up an estimated 60 – 80 percent of smallholder farming in sub-Saharan Africa. However, it is estimated that only about 20 percent are land holders. Another staggering statistic is that women farmers make up on average 43 percent of the agricultural labour in developing countries. In some countries women farmers are the majority. Over two-thirds of employed women work in agriculture in South Asia, while in Eastern Africa over half are women farmers. Yet, through compounding levels of exclusion it is...

FAREWELL TO MASIBONGE SILEVU

Our Chief Officer Technical, Masibonge Silevu, will be leaving our employ on the 31 August 2020. We would like to take this opportunity to thank him for valuable contributions he made. We wish him well for his future endeavours.

ONE HOME ONE GARDEN CAMPAIGN

HOUSEHOLDS TO START FOOD PRODUCTION UNITS In support of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture’s (WCDoA) One Home One Garden Campaign Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer recently visited food gardens in Witzenberg. According to Minister Meyer, every household needs to have a food garden as it will contribute towards the family’s food security. Minister Meyer: “As part of our Covid-19 response, the One Home One Garden Campaign encourages households to start their own food production units.” Food production units come in...

WC RESEARCH DAIRIES DONATE MILK TO THE VULNERABLE

Yesterday, Western Cape Department of Agriculture's research dairy farms in Stellenbosch and George donated milk to the Milk Producers Organisation for further distribution amongst vulnerable communities in the Western Cape. Speaking at the handover, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, highlighted the impact that Covid-19 has had on the poor. Minister Meyer: “Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on the most vulnerable in our society. No person or family should ever go hungry. We need to work together to ensure...

TO ALL BENEFICIARIES/CLIENTS AND SERVICE PROVIDERS

Due to the National Lockdown in the country, kindly note that delays with payments and project deliveries could possibly occur or not processed on time during this period.  Casidra SOC Ltd apologise for the inconvenience  and continues to explore all possible avenues to render a service to you. Your kind consideration and patience in this regard will be highly appreciated. By Order Casidra Management For any enquiries contact Experience Matshediso   PR/Communications Manager C: 082 560 5444 E: ematshediso@casidra.co.za

TRANSFORMATION IN THE TIME OF COVID-19

I must admit that when I wrote my last Column in March, just before South Africa entered into the Covid-19 lockdown, I was under the impression that we will go into a short and disruptive lockdown, but re-emerge after only a few weeks to continue with our lives as before. But after 60 days of lockdown under various levels (First Level 5 and currently Level 4, with Level 3 commencing in June), we now know that things are working out...

R10 MILLION IN FODDER SUPPORT

MEDIA RELEASE BY DR IVAN MEYER WESTERN CAPE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE DATE: 19 MAY 2020 RELEASE: IMMEDIATELY R10 MILLION IN FODDER SUPPORT DISTRIBUTED IN THE WESTERN CAPE The Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) has distributed R10 million in fodder support to 1727 farmers located in extreme or critically extreme drought areas in the Western Cape. These areas include Central and Little Karoo, parts of the Cape Winelands and the northern parts of Matzikamma. The distribution of fodder support vouchers to qualifying farmers has occurred with full...

COVID-19 response plan for Witzenberg

3 May 2020 On Thursday, 30 April 2020, I met with key stakeholders in Witzenberg to present the cabinet approved Western Cape Government Integrated Covid-19 Response Plan for the Witzenberg region. This plan is in response to the rapid increase in the number of Covid-19 positive cases in the Witzenberg region and follows consultation with various Provincial Departments, the Mayors and Deputy Mayors of Witzenberg and Cape Winelands District Municipalities, Agri Western Cape, the Witzenberg Business Initiative and relevant law enforcement agencies. The...

MESSAGE FROM THE ACTING CEO’S DESK

As we are facing the most difficult times of our lives due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic which continues to spread across the globe and into Africa, I am profoundly concerned about the development of this pandemic and the effect it may have on each citizen across the countries at large. Over the past weeks, we have intensified our meetings and have been developing plans in consultation with our stakeholders to protect employees and our operations. It would be amiss of me...

THE COVID-19 LOCKDOWN REGULATIONS

The recently announced 21 Day COVID-19 Lockdown Regulations has understandably created much anxiety within the agriculture sector.  I do however want to assure farmers and farmworkers that in terms of Regulation No. 398 of the Disaster Management Act, 2002, the sector, being responsible for food security, has been declared as essential. This declaration reemphasises that the entire food value chain, from farm-related operations, agro-processing and food manufacturing, logistics and related services, wholesale and retail services, and all support functions that ensure efficient...

EXPROPRIATION WITHOUT COMPENSATION

The issue of EWC is stubbornly staying with us, and even urban home owners have started asking about the implications of what would happen to their home loans in the case of a house being expropriated without compensation. The Banking Association of South Africa’s response, that the bond is a contract between you as an individual and the Bank, and as such remains payable, did not do any good to the prevailing negative sentiment. The LREAD attended a symposium on Expropriation...

NEW HEAD OF AGRICULTURE FOR WESTERN CAPE

Dr Ivan Meyer, Provincial Minister of Agriculture in the Western Cape, has officially announced Dr Mogale Sebopetsa as the new Head of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA). Minister Meyer: “I am looking forward to working with the newly appointed Head of Department (HoD) for Agriculture in the Western Cape. He has extensive public sector management skills and will bring knowledge as an agricultural scientist. He has also established a good working relationship with agricultural stakeholders.” Dr Sebopetsa currently holds the...