Fencing project created jobs and greater drought resilience in Rietpoort
A partnership between Government and the Rietpoort community has helped build a healthier ecosystem and created 100 job opportunities and more than 300 person working days.
For Rietpoort, a small settlement near Bitterfontein in the Namaqua West Coast region, something as simple as fencing, has made a significant contribution towards the building of lasting relationships and addressing environmental, social and economic challenges.
During the project 5.2km of new stock proof fencing was constructed and 15.6 km of run-down jack proof fencing replaced.
Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer says that job creation and farmer support and development are two of his priorities.
Minister Meyer: "We have been supporting farmers in the drought-stricken parts of the Western Cape through our fodder support programme and job creation initiatives such as the fencing project in Rietpoort. Human dignity is shaped and fulfilled by providing someone with the opportunity to access work so that they can provide for their needs and that of their family."
Ashia Petersen, of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, says that the Rietpoort and neighbouring farming communities have been given a tangible leg up through the fencing project.
Petersen: "The fencing project has strengthened their drought resilience and increased their lambing percentages as a result of effective predator monitoring, and overall improved veld conditions."
"Fencing, if properly planned and executed, has proven to be a measure to manage available grazing and contribute to sustainability but also create jobs at the same time, By erecting fences and stock-water systems, fencing camps off for the breeding rams to improve the management of lambing intervals, and separating the grazing area from the community we are able to build their resilience and support livelihoods," says Meyer.
Meyer continues:” The Western Cape Government is committed to creating more job opportunities during the post-COVID-19 economic recovery phase. More jobs and opportunities will create human dignity and well being for the citizens of the Western Cape.”