Gerrit van Rensburg, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development asked the National Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Minister Nkwinti, to provide more projects for female entrepreneurs at the recently held Western Cape leg of the National Top Female Entrepreneurs in Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
“Please Minister Nkwinti: support even more projects for our women entrepreneurs who want to enter agriculture. Please give more empowerment projects to these ladies. They want to help you make a success of land reform.”
Van Rensburg congratulated the five provincial categories winners, who will now compete for the National Female Entrepreneur title. “Thank you ladies for bringing your unique talents and intellect to the agricultural sector. It is also fitting that we are able to celebrate your immense contribution to farming during women’s month.”
Van Rensburg said food security is still a cause of great concern in South Africa. He referred to a recent report by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), which states that more than half of South Africans do not have regular access to enough food. The report finds that South African food security has declined from 48% in 2008 to the current 45.6%. The report finds the Western Cape to be the most food secure province in South Africa. The Eastern Cape and Limpopo have the highest numbers of citizens experiencing food insecurity.
“Friends, we cannot take South Africa into the future if our people are hungrier today than they were yesterday. We cannot solve unemployment, poverty and crime on an empty stomach. We cannot improve education with hungry students.”
Van Rensburg also acknowledged Jacky Goliath, the 2012 Western Cape Female Entrepreneur who also won the 2012 National competition. “Thank you for being such an inspiration to women, and thank you for making the Western Cape proud”.
The competition, which is a joint effort between the national Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and the provinces, rewards the efforts and contribution of women in matters such as food security, job creation, economic growth and poverty alleviation.
This year the national competition will be hosted in Gauteng on 23 August 2013 where all the provincial category winners will contend for the coveted national awards.
The Western Cape winners in the various categories were:
Best Female Worker Hazel Booysen – De Nonna, De Wet
Top Entrepreneur Subsistence Ntinga Community Garden – Khayelitsha
Top Entrepreneur Smallholder Carole Kirkwood-Pretorius – Ceres
Top Entrepreneur Commercial Joretha Grib – Citrusdal
Ministerial Special Award (Youth) Lisinda le Roux – Grabouw
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Issued by: Western Cape Agriculture and Rural Development