Minister van Rensburg Speaks at Elsenburg Wine Cellar Upgrade
Ladies and gentlemen, colleagues and members of the press: Welcome to Elsenburg farm and our Elsenburg cellar today.
The Cellar on Elsenburg is central, and absolutely essential, to our wine making and cellar technology study programmes. There is a very important element of practical experience that is needed in the study to become a wine maker, and we would not have been able to supply the wine industry with promising new talent without this infrastructure.
Allow me therefore to thank our Department of Public Works for the R7 million spend here. The renovations have resulted in us regaining our Environmentally Friendly Wine Making Accreditation (IPW accreditation from Wine and Spirits Board of South Africa). This is very important, especially in the context of the Provincial Government’s commitment towards a green economy.
Allow me also to congratulate Marius Paulse and all of the staff of our college. Producing top students with good career prospects depends on more than infrastructure. Thank you for your hard work and dedication towards our students.
The Board of Higher Education recently reviewed our study programmes, and accredited it with their quality standards. This is testimony to the hard work done by Marius and his team. Thank you, because we can never overemphasise the importance of quality education in South Africa.
Recent data suggest that the job market for people with formal training in the South African economy is currently growing by 10% a year, whereas the demand for unskilled labour is shrinking by 3% a year.
This is reflected in the current labour unrest we are witnessing in South Africa. I know workers are frustrated with the high cost of living, but it is unfortunately a fact of life that one progresses in your career not through wage increases for the same job, but through climbing the job ladder with promotions into better positions. This can only happen if workers are equipped with a sound basic education in order to be trainable for better positions, and the opportunities for promotion are available.
In order to have career opportunities, we need the economy to grow.
Data wys dat vir elke R1 miljoen se direkte investering in die landbousektor word 11 werksgeleenthede geskep. Die tweede grootste werkskepper op die ranglys is die groot-en kleinhandelsektor. Hier word slegs drie werksgeleenthede per R1 miljoen geskep.
Friends, this illustrates the importance of the R7 million investment made in the cellar here at Elsenburg. This building, together with the talented and hard working staff of the college, is a direct investment in agriculture. We are creating job opportunities. We are also training the workers to grab these opportunities and fly with them.
The recent accolades won at the Young Wine Show is an indication of the talent we are working with.
I want to conclude by saying something about the current strikes in the transport industry which has seen people killed and seriously injured. Many trucks have been set alight in the past few weeks, and this is extremely bad for investor sentiment in the South African economy. It is also extremely bad for our agricultural sector in the Western Cape.
Die vrugte industrie begin binnekort om vrugte te laai vir uitvoere. Daar werk 460 000 mense in die Suid Afrikaanse vrugte industrie en hulle onderhou 2 miljoen afhanklikes. Treine, vragmotors en hyskrane moet hierdie vrugte vinnig en versigtig by ons hawens aflewer sodat dit na die wêreld verskeep kan word. Kom ons gee landbou die ondersteunig sodat dit kos vir ons mense, maar ook broodnodige werksgeleenthede, kan verskaf vir Suid Afrika.