Minister Van Rensburg Welcomes First-year Students to Elsenburg
Gerrit van Rensburg, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development welcomed the 2014 First Year students to the Elsenburg College on Friday, 24 January. This year saw 64 students enrolling for the Higher Certificate, and 87 for the B.Agric Degree. The Department provided 33 students with study bursaries to the value of R570 000.
Van Rensburg reassured nervous students: “You have enrolled at the best agricultural college in South Africa, and we will do our best so you can realise your full potential”.
Van Rensburg said agriculture can contribute greatly to solving unemployment and poverty in South Africa. Van Rensburg quoted figures released in 2013, by the Pan-African Research and Investment Services, on the multiplier effects of money invested in various economic sectors:
- For each Rand invested in Agriculture, a value output of R1.79 is created. This is the highest among all sectors. Manufacturing comes second with R1.13.
- Each R1 million invested in agriculture creates 11 jobs. Retail and wholesale comes second with three jobs per R1 million invested.
- Each Rand invested in agricultural export activities sees exports increase with R0.22. The second best sector is Transport and Communication which sees exports increase by R0.15 for each Rand invested.
- Each Rand invested in Agriculture will increase government income by R0.54. Manufacturing comes second with R0.35 generated for government with each Rand invested.
Minister Van Rensburg said that with these figures in mind, he appeals to National Treasury to increase the agricultural budgets of all provinces in South Africa. But he also appealed to all his colleagues in the various provinces to spend the allocated funds in a responsible and efficient manner, so that the multipliers can generate the maximum benefits for South Africa.