Agriculture news

R400m agriculture deal to create new jobs

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Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Mzwandile Masina has welcomed a R400 million investment by Griekwaland-Wes Korporatief (GWK) that will see the company creating 100 new permanent jobs in the Northern Cape.

This, as the Deputy Minister and Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas, as well as the Chairman of the Board of Directors at GWK, Frank Lawrence, officially opened GWK’s factory on Thursday.

The opening of the factory -- which includes a wheat mill and pasta plant among others -- will see the creation of 100 new permanent jobs in the agricultural sector in Kimberley and other surrounding areas in the province.

Deputy Minister Masina said GWK is already implementing the National Development Plan’s vision of making agriculture and agro-processing the primary economic activity in South Africa by investing and creating jobs in the sector.

“As government we will be precisely focusing on agro-processing in order to be able to open new markets especially abroad. We are also upgrading the infrastructure in the continent to ensure the movements of goods and people in South Africa and the rest of the continent are smoother especially for those who are exporting and importing. This is to ensure that intra Africa trade is practical,” he said.

The Deputy Minister emphasised the importance of inclusion and transformation in any sector, especially in agriculture.

He said black people should no longer be only employed at factories, but should also participate as directors, owners of productions and control some of the portions of companies through the help of the Black Industrialists programme.

“Transformation should not be seen as a free ride, in a form of fronting or window dressing for companies. It must be for those who would come and be part of such initiatives and willing to assist in order to move the country forward. The private sector management, leadership and the whole value chain can work with us to ensure that we bring change and transformation in a speedy manner,” explained the Deputy Minister.

Deputy Minister Masina congratulated GWK for the investment and encouraged the private sector to make a meaningful contribution in investing resources and utilising the country’s savings for economic development.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors at GWK, Frank Lawrence, said they were extremely proud to have been bold enough to enter the agro processing space and to show their commitment to agriculture and the development plans of the country.

“The fact that we made this investment shows the faith that GWK, its board and its farmer shareholders have in the future of agriculture and the country. We see our developments as an inclusive process. The benefits will not only accrue to our home base which is our farmers and shareholders, but also to our larger communities,” he said. -

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