The Standing Committee Chairperson on Economic Opportunities, Tourism and Agriculture, Beverley Schäfer, welcomed the agreement today saying; “I would like to commend the efforts of the both the management and students of the Elsenburg Agricultural Institute, who have reached an agreement today with all the relevant role-players to halt protest action immediately.
We believe that the only way forward is for the management and the students of Elsenburg Agricultural Institute to find solutions to the issues of language and transformation through meaningful dialogue.
The standing committee engaged with the Elsenberg students in May this year where issues were raised. As a committee we raised these issues with the Department of Agriculture accordingly. We as a committee agreed to give the management and the students the necessary time to try and resolve the many challenges that the agricultural institute is currently facing.
We welcome the agreement reached today which will see a revised timetable with tuition in English and Afrikaans; with the availability of English tutors to assist students who have been affected by the disruptions and welcome that all tests scheduled for 2nd and 3rd September have been rescheduled.
We support the steps being taken by the College Council to facilitate the development of a new language policy.
The DA-run Western Cape puts agricultural as one of very few sectors that can employ large numbers of unskilled labour. We recognise the fact that the National Development Plan marks agriculture as a key job creator, proposing that it can create close to one million jobs by 2030. Therefore educating our potential farmers across all sectors of the agriculture through Institutes such as Elsenberg remain a vitally important one.
Once again we thank the Management, and students for their commitment to finding solutions for the sake of the future of our agricultural industry in order to achieve the growth and jobs we need to support the people of this Province.”