South Africa: Western Cape Hosts Female Entrepreneur Awards in Paarl, 11 Aug

The Western Cape’s top women in agriculture will be announced this week.

As part of its Women’s Month campaign, the Western Cape Government will host the Female Entrepreneur Awards in Paarl on Thursday, 11 August.

The competition is a joint effort between the National Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and the provincial Department of Agriculture.

It seeks to reward the efforts and contribution of women in job creation, economic growth and poverty alleviation.

Provincial winners are entered into the national competition.

Past winners have credited the competition for boosting their businesses.

In 2015, one of the Western Cape winners, Tenjiwe Kaba, was named as one of South Africa’s best female entrepreneurs when she won the subsistence producer category at the national event.


She leads Moyo We Khaya, a community garden in Khayelitsha tended by women farming with vegetables. This group stood out for the excellent service they deliver to the community and for the inspiration they provide for other residents.

Kaba said she had used her prize money to purchase an office space, adding that her enterprise has become a tourist attraction.

Ilse Ruthford, who won the national agri-processing award in 2014, heads up the financial management of a wine storage facility which services 42 producers.

Ruthford said winning the competition had always been a personal goal.

“I always wanted to win this competition not only for myself and my team but to thank our Partners, the Myburgh Family Trust, who started this venture with us.

They were prepared to take the risk and give us an opportunity. Today I am grateful that our business is growing and we are one of the most successful land reform projects in the Cape Winelands.”

Ruthford said after launching a wine label earlier this year, she was looking at distributing locally.

“In the next year we would like to establish export markets and also set up a tasting room facility. I also used a portion of my winnings to set up a vegetable garden for our workers and their families. I am proud to say that the garden has grown into a successful venture.

We currently grow cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, beetroot and spinach. In the next few weeks we are planting a variety of lettuces and butternut for the summer season. We also supply spinach and cabbages to a local broker on a weekly basis.”

Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, wished the entrants well ahead of the competition.

“It is important to celebrate the role of women in agriculture. Entrepreneurs like Ilse and Tenjiwe serve as an inspiration to residents and we need to showcase their stories.”


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