On 04 November 2023, Vivian Jakobs from Crispy Farming, Du Toit Group, Witzenberg was announced as the 2023 Western Cape Prestige Agri-Awards winner.
The Western Cape Department of Agriculture’s annual Western Cape Prestige Agri Awards (WCPAA) Gala ceremony was held on Saturday, 4 November 2023, at the Protea Hotel Marriot Techno Park, Stellenbosch.
This annual departmental event is a collaboration with Shoprite Pty (Ltd) as the main sponsor and aims to acknowledge the valuable contribution that agri workers make to the sustainability and growth of the agricultural sector in the Western Cape. Hosting the WCPAA provides an opportunity to honour and celebrate the agri workers, who were classified as “essential workers” during the COVID-19 pandemic, thus emphasising their importance and significance in the agricultural sector and it’s growth.
Agri workers competed against each other in eleven different categories at regional level, in 15 different regions. During 2023/24, a total of one thousand and sixty-seven (1067) agri workers participated in the competition. The regional winners of each category proceeded to the provincial level, where they competed to win the provincial category award, as well as the coveted title of the overall winner, namely, the Western Cape Prestige Agri Worker of the Year 2023.
Regional winners are Lekgotla Mabombo (Bergrivier); Bernard Louw (Breede Valley); Tashwill Toto (Central Karoo); Lance du Toit (Elgin, Grabouw, Vyeboom and Villiersdorp); Simon Zeeman (Franschhoek); Ntombifuthi Mphetshwa (Garden Route); Thomas Oosthuizen (Klein Karoo); Mabonele Molefi (Hexvallei); Jacobus Fredericks (Langeberg); Hermiena Hendricks (Piket-Bo-Berg); Priscilla Hektor (Olifantsrivier); Dirk Joubert (Overberg); Ronald Jordaan (Stellenbosch); Marlon Coert (Swartland) and Vivian Jakobs (Witzenberg).
Stephen Satira of the Breede Valley region was acknowledged as the agri worker who displayed the best potential in this year's competition.
Franschhoek Region was announced as best performing region for this year's competition.
Dr Ivan Meyer said, “As Provincial Minister of Agriculture, I am extremely proud of the quality of our agri workers entering our competition. I view this competition to be important because it provides due recognition to the hardworking agri workers that support this sector’s growth. And thus, an investment in agri workers is an investment in the future of farming.”
Vivian Jakobs, Western Cape Prestige Agri “This competition has been an outstanding journey for me. To all the farmers, agri workers and representatives from the different regions, we are one. Our main purpose is to ensure that the man on the street gets the best possible products on their table. We need to ensure that there is food today, tomorrow, and the days after. Let us put in all our effort to ensure that.”
Pieter van Zyl, General Manager of Procurement at Shoprite Freshmark, said, “Shoprite Checkers Pty (Ltd) is proud to be associated with this competition. One that highlights the positive stories in agriculture. We are also very thankful for the opportunity to be able to give back to the agricultural community who has supported us through the years. We are all involved in the agri worker competition for the love and passion of agriculture because we all play a cardinal role in food security not just in the Western Cape but in the whole of South Africa.”
On behalf of the Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, together with the Head of Department, Dr Mogale Sebopetsa, we would like to extend our warmest congratulations to Vivian Jakobs on being awarded this prestigious title. We are certain that he will inspire many other agri workers to persevere and to feel proud of their invaluable role within the agricultural sector and by extension the economy of the Western Cape.