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96% of winemaking graduates in Elsenburg, Western Cape, are on cloud wine after hearing they’re sorted with a job.


Western Cape, South Africa (10 June 2021) – During an oversight visit by the Standing Committee to the Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute, it was noted that since 2017, 96% of graduates in Cellar Technology had gained employment.

The Standing Committee on Agriculture, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning commend this “excellent” work, supported by the provincial government, along with the college’s recent efforts in updating its curricula and innovations, including drone technology.

In particular, students of the Bachelor of Agriculture qualification enjoy an employment rate of 71%. And of those who studied winemaking between 2017 and 2020, 96% have found meaningful employment. This is a remarkable achievement in the current economic climate and shows that quality and relevant training is key to finding employment.

“Training, supported by a partnership with Burgundy (France), contribute to the quality of our wines and their export potential.  One project in particular that shows immense potential for the college and industry is the development of drone technology. Having realised the future use of such devices, Elsenburg purchased their first drone in 2017. Four years later, they currently have eight in their possession. These drones now operate in various roles ranging from training and awareness campaigns to surveillance and crop spraying,” Andricus van der Westhuizen, DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Agriculture & Environmental Affairs, said in a statement. 

As of May this year, 18 individuals obtained their Remote Pilot’s Licence (RPL) through the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) and thus contributed to the further development of this industry. 

Elsenburg’s achievements are supported by its partnership with the provincial Department of Agriculture, which has given it the ability to be dynamic and remain contextually relevant. Instead of being centralised and controlled by the national Department of Higher Education, Elsenburg has found new ways to attract new interest to this sector, even with the disruptions of climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We maintain that it is important that the college is allowed to continue to do so, considering that agriculture in the province supports 424 006 primary and secondary jobs in total. The DA in the Western Cape will continue to ensure that Elsenburg remains capacitated in its functions and that its ability in carrying out its mandate is not hindered,” Van der Westhuizen concluded.

Sources: Press Release
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