Cape Breeders Awards
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for the opportunity to attend this function tonight. Today's newspapers carried an article on recent statistics showing the Western Cape Province attracting R30 billion in direct foreign investments for the period 2009 up to today. This is very good news, as it means job opportunities are being created for the people in the province. Job opportunities allow people to take charge of their future, and it creates the space for social development.
Job creation is also very important in our agricultural context. We estimate that an increase of 5% in agricultural exports will create 23 000 additional job opportunities in the province. And the horse industry is part of this.
South Africa is currently performing very well in rugby and in cricket. We are winning gold medals at the Olympic Games. We are once again a nation of champions. We are also a country which breeds champion horses. I think this champion association will also be to the advantage of our very successful annual Cape Yearling Sale.
But ladies and gentlemen: We do not only have champion rugby players, or champion cricket players, or champion athletes, or champion horses. We also have champion grooms and champion farm workers.
And I want to invite the horse breeding industry to integrate more closely with our annual Western Cape Farm Worker of the Year competition. We have secured a commercial sponsor in Shoprite, and they are contributing R750 000 towards this year's competition, which has a total budget of R1.4 million. This year will see 1 000 entrants from 16 regions enter in categories ranging from general worker up to senior manager. The overall winner receives more than R100 000 in prizes.
It is now an honour for me to congratulate and recognise the best of the best of the grooms in our horse industry.
To the grooms: You are true champions in a champion industry. Thank you for the hard work and good luck with your future careers in this very exciting industry.