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 not to acknowledge the stress and anxiety that developments of the past few days may be causing many of you. This is fully understandable given the unprecedented nature of the pandemic.

We must all, however, take personal responsibility during this time of crisis to protect ourselves, our colleagues and our loved ones against infection.

Following the implementation of the COVID-19 lockdown and the subsequent announcement that the Agriculture sector has been declared an essential service in terms of Regulation no. 398 of the Disaster Management Act, therefore, Casidra, as an implementing agency of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, will continue to support the Department as far as delivery is concerned. We have issued work permits to skeleton staff to render essential services. The rest of the team is working from home to ensure the continuation of service delivery, with the health and safety of our team being our primary concern.

We appeal to all our community at large to stay at home, be safe and adhere to lockdown regulations.

We reiterate that the most effective way to prevent infection is through basic changes in individual behaviour and hygiene. We are, therefore, once more calling on everyone to:

  • Wash your hands frequently with hand sanitisers or soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with a tissue or flexed elbow;
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.

I would also like to extend our congratulations to the newly appointed Head of the Department of Agriculture in the Western Cape, Dr Mogale Sebopetsa.

On behalf of Casidra SOC Ltd’s Board of Directors, Management and staff, we would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Dr Sebopetsa, once again, on his new appointment. We wish Dr Sebopetsa all the best with his new role and responsibilities as from 1 April 2020. We look forward to working closely with him and to strengthen the co-operation and relationship between his Department and Casidra.

Our heartfelt gratitude goes to Ms Joyene Isaacs, the outgoing HOD for the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, for her support and contributions during her tenure. We wish Ms Isaacs well with her future endeavours.

Freek van Zyl
Acting CEO

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