Forty-seven offenders from the Department of Correctional Services Voorberg Centre outside Porterville graduated from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture’s Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute.
The Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute has been providing skills development at this facility since 2019.
Thirteen participants received a National Qualification in Plant and Animal Production NQF4, and fourteen received a skills competency certificate. A further twenty received attendance certificates for various courses completed.
According to Western Cape’s Minister of Agriculture Dr Ivan Meyer, the province has three priorities, jobs, safety, and well-being.
“The Western Cape Department of Agriculture contributes to creating a safer environment by ensuring that offenders are equipped with the necessary skills to contribute to our economy. We also restore dignity to the offenders and our communities by doing so,” Meyer said.
This partnership was initiated in 2022 with an Operational Agreement between the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and the Department of Correctional Services, paving the way for further capacity building interventions at correctional service facilities in the Western Cape.
Regional Commissioner Delekile Klaas further highlighted that crime prevention plays a crucial role in creating safer communities.
“By contributing to rehabilitation, we ensure that offenders acquire skills and find work. Self-sufficiency is important. Offenders must be able to produce what they eat.
“We have to train, skill and prepare them for the day they are released. I hope that this becomes an annual event,” Klaas added.
Meanwhile, Meyer has also urged graduands to plough back into their communities by starting vegetable gardens.
“You are graduating from a great institution with an impeccable history of success. We expect that you plant something that you can give back to your community,” Meyer said.
Picture: WC Gov