On Tuesday, 12 May 2020, accompanied by Premier Alan Winde and the Mayor of Witzenberg, Barnito Klaasen, I visited agribusinesses in Ceres, Witzenberg, one of the current Covid-19 hotspots in the Western Cape.
The visit to Kalos Farms and the Du Toit Fruit Packing Facility left me with the comfort that the agricultural sector adheres to the Covid-19 health and safety protocols.
Both businesses have implemented several measures to ensure that social distancing, washing of hands and sanitising facilities are available. Staff and visitors are screened on arrival using thermal scanners to determine their temperature.
They are further required to complete a basic questionnaire and are provided with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) before allowed to enter the packaging facilities.
Kalos Farms owners have prepared an isolation facility on the farm, for workers, who need to go into isolation. This facility helps to lessen the burden on the local hospital.
The Western Cape Department of Health has created an online self-assessment tool, and I recommend that people conduct a self-assessment. To do so click here: https://coronavirus.westerncape.gov.za/risk-assessment-covid-19
The Western Cape Department of Agriculture has to date distributed 35 000 cloth masks to farmworkers and agribusinesses in Witzenberg.
The continued implementation of the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme projects and delivery of extension and advisory services provided by our Extension Officers create the opportunity to share resources to address the threat of Covid-19.
A range of information material for employers and their staff is available on the Western Cape Government Covid-19 website. See link: https://coronavirus.westerncape.gov.za/resources
The Western Cape Government has also released a Guide for the Prevention and Management of Covid-19 in the workplace. For further information, click here: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/assets/departments/health/COVID-19/wcgh_circular_h70_of_2020_-_preventing_and_managing_coronavirus_infection_in_the_workplace.pdf
The Western Cape Department of Agriculture has also provided a frequently-asked- questions toolkit for the agricultural sector. For further information regarding the nation-wide lockdown and agriculture, please click on the following link: http://www.elsenburg.com/sites/default/files/FAQ-Document-final-VER-6_0.pdf
In line with the Western Cape Government's belief in data-driven decisions, we have embarked on an economic impact analysis in collaboration with partners such as the Bureau for Food and Policy Research (BFAP). This data will inform post-Covid-19 plans for the agriculture sector in the Western Cape.
I am satisfied that the agricultural sector is implementing the health and safety provisions of the Covid-19 regulations in the workplace.
Deputy Mayor Karriem Adams, District Mayor Helena von Schlicht, Minister Meyer and Mayor Klaasen - Masks Sanitiser Handover
Ismail Motala at Kalos Farms
Minister Ivan Meyer and Premier Alan Winde
Minister Ivan Meyer and Premier Alan Winde at Kalos Farm Isolation Facility
Minister Ivan Meyer at Du Toit Packing Facility
Spokesperson for Minister Ivan Meyer
Tel: 079 990 4231