Women in Western Cape Agriculture Celebrated
Leading women in Western Cape agriculture were celebrated this evening.
The winners of the Female Entrepreneur Awards were announced during a ceremony this evening (10 August 2017), at Kronenburg in Paarl. Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, delivered the keynote address at the event, which takes place annually during Women’s Month.
The winners, who will be entered into the national competition, are:
Best Female Worker – Dineo Lebetsa – Tolbos Farm, Caledon
Tolbos is a fruit farm, specialising in apples and pears. Dineo leads 16 women and men in different farm activities namely sorting, thinning, harvesting and training of young trees. She also works with her team in an open nursery (mother block) planting rootstocks. In addition, she oversees the transport of workers from Caledon to the farm.
Best Subsistence Producer – Dawn Ehrenreich– Dig for Victory, Mitchell’s Plain
Dig for Victory is an organic vegetable and herb garden. The garden was initially established as a result of a “waste wise” pilot project by the City of Cape Town. Dawn was trained as a community facilitator. The project was responsible for fighting dumping in communities through education and awareness programmes. The project developed into a vegetable garden, which later expanded to a local park.
Top Entrepreneur Processing – Berene Damons – Tesselaarsdal Wines Pty Ltd, Hermanus
Berene started her business in 2014. She secures the grapes from different sources and makes the wine at Hamilton Russel Vineyards’ cellar. The bottling, labelling and further packaging is done by her and six other female staff members. She also handles the marketing and logistics of the wine herself. Berene is in the process of purchasing 3.5 hectares of land in Tesselaarsdal, Overberg where Pinot Noir grapes will be planted, for use in her wines.
Top Entrepreneur Exporting – Carmen Steven, Carmen Stevens Wines (Pty) Ltd, Somerset West
Carmen Stevens has 21 years’ experience in winemaking, having been the first black person to study and qualify as a winemaker in South Africa in 1995. Her company was registered in 2011. The main purpose of the business is to source, produce, blend and bottle premium quality red and white table wines - exclusively for the export market.
Ministerial Award for Youth - Berene Damons – Tesselaarsdal Wines Pty Ltd, Hermanus
In addition to receiving the award for Top Entrepreneur – Processing, Berene also received the Ministerial Award.
Minister Winde congratulated the winners, and said they served as an inspiration in the agriculture sector.
“Historically, agriculture had a reputation for being a male-dominated profession. I’ve been very encouraged to see this trend changing. It is our goal to expand access to this sector, and through initiatives like this, we are showcasing success stories which can inspire other residents.
“The businesswomen we have honoured tonight are leading the way in boosting food security, and creating jobs. They are ambassadors for Western Cape agriculture, and I wish them every success at the national competition.”
Since the launch of the competition in 1999, close to 400 women in the Western Cape have entered. Last year, Lindelwa Mabuya, from Abagold Abalone Farming in Hermanus, and Caroline de Villiers, Themba Trees in Elgin won awards at the national competition.
This year, the national event takes place takes place in Mpumalanga on 27 August 2017.
To download sound clips from Minister Winde, kindly visit https://clyp.it/user/h2wn3yfi
Spokesperson: Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities
Responsible for Tourism, Economic Development and Agriculture
Western Cape Government
Tel: 021 483 3550
Cell: 060 970 4301