Agri Kultuur September / September 2016 - Page 58

S even top achievers in the South African deciduous fruit industry received awards for their excellence on Friday night, 16 September 2016, at a gala event in Somerset West. The awards went to:  Charmaine Scholtz, Specialist Agricultural Worker of the Year;  Sivuyile Maguga Solitswayi en Irene Jansen, joint General Agricultural Worker of the Year;  Earl Loxton, New Entrant of the Year;  Dr. Piet Stassen, Innovator of the Year;  Jack van Dyk, O.S.H. Reinecke Industry Leader of the Year; and  Engela Duvenage, received the Izethelo Media Award. This year the judges decided to give the General Agricultural Worker of the Year Award to two worthy recipients: Sivuyile Maguga Solitswayi from the farm Bronaar in the Koue Bokkeveld and Irene Jansen from Wilhelm de Kock Boerdery near Worcester. Solitswayi is one of the true heroes of the deciduous fruit industry without whom growers would not be able to manage. He is one of the multitude of general workers who, like human machines, pick fruit, prune trees and thin flowers. What distinguishes Solitswayi from other workers is that his productivity levels are twice that of any other general worker. Not only that, he is accurate and works at a phenomenal pace. Solitswayi joined Bronaar in 2013 and according to his manager he is always motivated and sets high goals for himself. “Maguga is motivated and ensures that he does his work right the first time. He is by far Bronaar’s best and fastest fruit picker. Maguga is an excellent example for his co-workers and a great asset in our business. Bronaar would like to salute Maguga for his excellent service.” In turn, Irene Jansen started her young life with many challenges. She grew up in the Steinthal Orphanage at Tulbagh and is a single parent. But against all odds, Jansen is carving out a bright future for herself in the agricultural sector. Jansen’s colleagues describe her as a born leader and an excellent example for her coworkers. “Irene is active in almost all the farm programmes such as the women’s choir, the mixed choir and an outreach group. She even initiated a board game group for women on the farm. She also loves to bake and regularly arrives at work with sweet treats for everyone.” During the season, Jansen is involved in quality control and the manipulation of young orchards. The other workers know that she is always available to answer questions and to mentor them. According to her manager, it is not often that one comes across someone with such a positive attitude. “Even though life dealt Irene a tough hand, she gets up every morning and spreads joy wherever she goes. She has a bright career in agriculture ahead of her.” Charmaine Scholtz, Specialist Farm Worker of the Year, is a qualified teacher who decided to throw her energy into agriculture. Scholtz, who started her professional life at Remhoog-