Nigel Klaasen, a junior production manager on the farm Fruitways Glen Elgin in Elgin, was announced as the 2022 Western Cape Prestige Agri-Awards winner at the annual gala dinner held on Saturday, 5 November 2022, at the Grandwest Complex in Goodwood.
Klaasen won prizes to the value of approximately R100 000, including an overseas study tour.
Klaasen said: “I am grateful to my employer, Fruitways, for allowing me to do what I do well. The positivity of my fellow competitors and agri-workers inspires me. Not enough is said about the role that agri-workers play in ensuring food security. Through our daily toil, we produce enough food to ensure that our fellow South Africans have access to food. Thank you, Western Cape Department of Agriculture, for highlighting our contribution and appreciating agri-workers.”
Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, highlights that the Prestige Agri-Awards Competition recognises the province’s agricultural workforce’s hard work, commitment, and dedication.
Meyer said: “The Prestige Agri-Awards Competition not only showcases the excellent work done in the agricultural sector in this province. In addition, it acknowledges, celebrates and inspires pride in its workforce and encourages them to learn new skills. Agri-workers play a significant role in the Western Cape economy. Their energy, knowledge, and expertise contribute to food and nutrition security, bring foreign exchange into the country from exports, and provide for their families. So tonight, we celebrate excellence, ambition, confidence, drive and the competitive spirit of our agri-workers.”
This year, nine hundred and ninety-four agri-workers representing 15 regions competed in 11 categories. Regional winners were Emile Asplein (Bergrivier); Deon Mazetta (Breede Valley); Elloise Volmink (Central Karoo); Nigel Klaasen (Elgin); John Williams (Franschhoek); Sithembiso Shange (Garden Route); Patrick Mosedie (Hessequa-Kannaland); Christiaan Petersen (Hexvallei); Jeanne-Meine (Langeberg); Shirlene Boks(Olifantsrivier); Zolani Bethuel Majali (Overberg) Gerrit Boois (Piket-Bo- Berg); Nongcebo Langa (Stellenbosch); Aphendule Dyomfana (Swartland) and Shiree Paulse (Witzenberg).
Christiaan Prins of the Breede Valley region was acknowledged as the agri-worker who displayed the best potential in this year’s competition.
Two special Ministerial Awards went to:
- Slanghoek & Botha Wine Estate Healthcare Project for the outstanding partnership they have with the Western Cape Departments of Agriculture and Health to extend health services to agri-workers and
- Martha Klein of Central Karoo was acknowledged for her community work amongst agri-workers despite battling her health challenges.
Caption: Pieter van Zyl (General Manager Procurement: Shoprite Freshmark); Dr Ivan Meyer (Western Cape Minister of Agriculture); Nigel Klaasen (Winner Prestige Agri-Worker 2022); Dr Mogale Sebopetsa (Western Cape Head of Agriculture);