Drought relief funding for emerging farmers and a boost to government’s apprenticeship progamme were two of the shifts announced in Economic Opportunities Minister Alan Winde’s mid-year budget speech.
Minister Winde yesterday (30 November 2016) tabled the mid-term budget allocations for the Departments of Agriculture (Vote 11) and Economic Development and Tourism (Vote 12).
In agriculture, in excess of R25 million was reallocated to drought relief. This brings to R61 million the Western Cape’s total contribution to drought relief in the past year.
“These funds will assist emerging grain farmers in the West Coast. At the onset of the drought, many of these farmers, who are important employers in their communities, faced an uncertain future. As yields failed to materialise, it became clear that many would struggle to cover the costs of operations.
“The Western Cape Department of Agriculture, in its commitment to supporting land reform, had already placed significant investment into these black farmers. We are determined to walk the road with them, to ensure their enterprises grow into thriving agri-businesses,” said Minister Winde during his address.
Funding was also prioritised for initiatives under the Project Khulisa growth strategy. Project Khulisa has three focus sectors, namely tourism, oil and gas and agri-processing.
- R100 million in support of the Industrial Development Zone project at Saldanha Bay. The funds will be utilised to finalise the purchase agreement for the back-of-port land portion from the IDC, a deal which will enable the IDZ to offer competitive and compelling packages to investors;
- R1.7 million for the Khulisa heritage tourism drive to fund the memorial statue of former President Nelson Mandela at the City Hall. This is a joint initiative with the City of Cape Town, set to be completed in the 2017/18 financial year;
- R1.6 million for the promotion of Western Cape wine and brandy to China and Angola;
- R1.7 million to promote Western Cape Halal exports to new markets.
Please see attached Minister Winde’s full speeches for the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism.
For media queries, kindly contact:
Spokesperson: Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities
Responsible for Tourism, Economic Development and Agriculture
Western Cape Government