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WC grape industry provides 29,000 jobs

Western Cape Grape Industry - [http://exsa.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/regions-berg-river-816x450.jpg] Western Cape Grape Industry - [http://exsa.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/regions-berg-river-816x450.jpg]

The table grape industry provides over 29,000 direct jobs to the region each year. These figures were shared at the South Africa Table Grape Industry Annual General Meeting, which was held last week. Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, addressed the AGM.

 Key industry figures include:

  • In 2014/15,  R183m in income was generated on farms with black ownership
  • 660 black beneficiaries are  involved in 32 farming businesses countrywide
  • The industry provides 11,000 full-time and 42,000 seasonal jobs valued at R950m in wages per year nationally.
  • Additional R600m job creation, suppliers in the value chain, which includes all activities from farm to market
  • 65% of the total production volumes is generated in the Western Cape
  • Significant contribution to downstream production income – R3,2 bn to other product input providers, R720m to packaging material suppliers, R250m to logistics suppliers 
  • The industry’s contribution towards the national GDP is estimated at over R3bn.

Minister Winde said the numbers were encouraging and added that the Western Cape Government would continue to support the industry to grow.

“One of the ways in which we are currently partnering with the SA Table Grade Industry is through the Fruit Logistica Asia Expo. We need to ensure that our agri-businesses have access to markets and the right support to grow their enterprises. These programmes will continue to be key priorities.”

Minister Winde thanked the industry body for their contribution to transformation in the agriculture sector and job creation.

“In the Western Cape, we have set ourselves on the path to ensure a 70 per cent success rate of all the land reform projects in which we invest.  Over the next three years, we will support 4,195 new farmers to take their businesses to the next level. The SA Table Grape Industry are a valued partner in this mission.”

Minister Winde said a key priority was improving local agri-processing capacity to boost production for domestic and key export markets.

“To develop more products for processing, including table grapes, we are continuing work on the Greater Brandvlei Irrigation Project. 

“By increasing the height of the Brandvlei Dam’s inlet canal, we will be able to irrigate another 4,400 hectares of land in the Breede and Langeberg municipalities. This project will deliver a significant job creation boost, adding up to 8,000 jobs to our economy. We are executing this project in concert with an intergovernmental team encompassing 11 departments.” 

“The table grape industry has a high growth potential and it is labour intensive (not easily mechanised).  This industry is the ideal partner of government to pursue and achieve the following NDP goals and objectives, job creation, rural development and the earning of foreign revenue, crucially important for our quite vulnerable balance of payments,” says Michael Laubscher, Chairperson of SATI.

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