Hex River Farm Worker of the Year 2012
"South African history will reflect on the important work farm workers have been doing in this country," Gerrit van Rensburg, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development said last night at the first regional round of the 2012 Western Cape Farm Worker of the Year Competition.
Johannes Kees, a junior manager form Nonna Estate, was announced as the Hex River winner from a total of 80 entrants. Van Rensburg said farm workers play a crucial role in ensuring agricultural competitiveness on international markets. "If we can increase agricultural exports from the Western Cape with 5%, we will create an additional 23 000 jobs in the province. We need skilled and well-educated workers in order to produce these products."
This year's competition, with a budget of R1.4 million, will see 16 regions competing with over 1 000 entrants in various categories, ranging from General Worker up to Senior Manager.
The overall winner will be announced on 9 November during a gala event in the Cape Town International Convention Centre. The winner will receive a total prize of more than R100 000.
Van Rensburg said he hopes this initiative of acknowledging the important work of farm workers will be duplicated in other provinces, in order to be able to have a National Farm Worker of the year in the future.