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COVID-19 AND THE DECIDUOUS FRUIT INDUSTRY

15 September DEDAT / HORTGRO COVID-19 VACCINE SAFETY: MYTH BUSTERS SESSION
The Western Cape Government Department of Economic Development and Tourism and Department of Health, in partnership with Hortgro, invite you to a   “COVID-19 Vaccine: Myth Buster Session”.

Time: 13h00-14h00

Link: https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_OTgzMjg2YWItMjI2NS00NTg2LWE1NGYtYmEzYjA1ZTY3ZDc3%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%22ae74bf7f-cfc3-4760-a1fe-0731afaa5502%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%226cfa66b9-a2fb-47fb-ae2b-5167f2d4ded0%22%7d

13 September 2021

As per the President’s announcement yesterday evening, the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs has amended the Regulations under the Disaster Management Act to once again place the country on Alert Level 2.

Find COGTA here: 3rd wave move to advance level 2

Travel permit: Template – permit to perform service FORM 7 260721

August 2021

Producers/Warehouses may qualify for tax benefits if the necessary supporting documents are submitted in consultation with financial service providers. To be eligible for these benefits, the onus rests on each business to present the necessary evidence on the impact Covid-19 has had on the business. The tax benefits are part of the Disaster Aid Act and apply to any business that was limited and/or incurred additional costs during the lockdown.

The ETI (Employment Tax incentive), to enable businesses to retain workers was previously only applicable to young people in the age group of 18 – 29, it has now been extended to the 30-65 age group (people who were not previously eligible). It is aimed specifically at people whose working hours have been shortened due to Covid and as a result, worked less than 160 hours/month. Previously, one could only claim twice a year for this benefit. It has now been extended for a 4-month period from 1 August to 30 November.

PAYE Deferral for Small and Medium-sized businesses (turnover of less than R100 million) can be postponed without any penalties and may be paid to SARS in even installments over the next 6 months for a period of three months (August to October) with a maximum of 35% of employees’ tax. This translates into cash flow support to businesses.

Download relevant tax doc here: 3Aug21_Draft Notes on Emergency Tax Measures_COVID-19

March 2021

An awareness campaign has been launched by agricultural stakeholders in the Western Cape to encourage people to comply with Covid-19 protocols and prevent a third wave. In the next coming weeks, video material will be shared via social media platforms. In addition, a campaign will also kick off on radio. Lastly, please share the following posters in English, Afrikaans, Xhosa and Sotho with colleagues and employees. #It’s not over yet! #EssentialAgriculture #ForTheLoveOfAgriculure

Awk Covid 19 Third Wave Preparation A4 Afr Final For Online Use Only

Awk Covid 19 Third Wave Preparation A4 Eng Final For Online Use Only

Awk Covid 19 Third Wave Preparation A4 Xhosa Final For Online Use Only

Awk Covid 19 Third Wave Preparation A4 Sotho Final For Online Use Only

FEBRUARY 2021

Public transport services, private vehicles and loading capacity of public transport vehicles

(1) Intra- provincial and interprovincial travel, including long-distance travel, by private vehicles and public transport services are permitted.

(2) For purposes of long-distance travel, as contemplated in regulation 43(1) of

the Regulations –

  • minibus, minibus or minibus taxi -type services are permitted to carry not more than 70% of their maximum licensed passenger-carrying capacity for intra- provincial long-distance travel and interprovincial travel and are subject to the following limitations:
  • bus services are permitted to carry not more than 70% of their licensed passenger-carrying capacity for intra- provincial and interprovincial long-distance travel; and
  • buses, taxis and trains that transport passengers for a journey that is regarded as long-distance travel, may continue to complete the journey, despite the declared curfew times.

For purposes of any trip that is not regarded as long-distance travel in terms of regulation 43(1) of the Regulations

  • buses, minibuses, minibuses, minibuses, taxi -type services, e- hailing services, meter taxis, shuttle services, chauffeur-driven vehicles and scholar transport vehicles are permitted to carry 100% of their maximum licensed passenger capacity; and
  • rail operations are permitted to carry not more than 70% of their licensed passenger capacity

It is our understanding that more than 200km is determined as long-distance of which the transport should be at 70% capacity while adhering to the protocols. Under 200 km would be regarded as not long distance.

Please take note of the bakkies capacity and be cognisant of managing COVID protocols e.g. social distancing. We would also recommend checking with the local municipality as they differ with regards to the enforcing of the Act. Some have distinctive directives with regards to the new regulation on the transportation of passengers.

Government Gazette: DMA Directions Transport Jan 2021

JANUARY 2021

Regulation Gazette No. 11223 Vol. 667 (11 January 2021) page 15: public transport

JULY 2020 

Coronavirus guidelines: https://www.gov.za/coronavirus/guidelines

Protocol for workers from other provinces returning to place of work: voorgestelde-oorgrensprotokol-vir-werkers-wat-terugkeer-werk-toe

JUNE 2020

Covid-19 Work Safety: COVID-19 – Work Safely – English

NICD guidelines for quarantine and isolation Covid-19:Guidelines for Quarantine and Isolation in relation to Covid-19

Covid-19 Environmental Health Guide:Covid-19 – Environmental Health Guideline – 1-3

PACKHOUSES

The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) has released an inspection business continuity plan, should staff members test positive for COVID-19.

Download the plan here: Directorate: Inspection Services – Business Continuity Plan – Covid-19

May 2020

HEALTH IN THE WORKPLACE/OFFICE

While lockdown will possibly move to Level 3 by the end of May, there are still many obstacles to overcome. Especially with stakeholders in the fruit industry returning to their offices.

In this regard please find information below explaining how to manage and prevent coronavirus infection in the workplace:

TRANSPORT OF FOREIGN WORKERS

In the event of having foreign essential workers for seasonal services on farms, that need to return home after their contracts expire, please note that you have to contact the Department of Home Affairs regarding the agreement between South Africa and the neighbouring country, together with the relevant protocols regarding repatriation. These workers would be relevant to provisions under Section 16(5) of the Regulations. Download document here: Department of Home Affairs

We advise producers to further follow the same protocol as for South African essential workers rendering seasonal work: 2020-may-revised-protocol-transport-of-essential-workers-rendering-seasonal-work

Furthermore, the Western Cape government’s tech volunteer programme will match small businesses in distress with an expert and offer them 1-2-1 sessions of ‘free’ advisory practical tech and digital-related support during the lockdown. To register visit: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/news/free-digital-and-technology-advisory-support-available-smmes

TRANSPORT PROTOCOL

Revised protocol regarding the transport of essential workers rendering seasonal work: 2020-may-revised-protocol-transport-of-essential-workers-rendering-seasonal-work

HEALTH SCREENING TOOL

Download a COVID-19 farm screening tool that can be used if workers/members have flu-like symptoms and come in contact with someone who may have the coronavirus, here: daily-monitoring-farms-doc

HORTGRO STAFF AT YOUR SERVICE:

  • Finance: Louis van Zyl (083 658 8156 )
  • Special Projects/Producer support: Mariette Kotze (084 761 1310)
  • Trade & Markets: Jacques du Preez (082 864 8149)
  • Research & Technical: Hugh Campbell (083 306 6668) of Wiehann Steyn (082 331 0056)
  • Communications: Elise-Marie Steenkamp (082 770 7858)

 

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