Sweet days ahead: Record apple, pear harvest in WC could mean more jobs

The projections are attributed to good rainfall in the Western Cape last winter following years of drought.

Picture: Pixabay.com

CAPE TOWN - A record apple and pear harvest could mean more jobs for seasonal workers.

The projections are attributed to good rainfall in the Western Cape last winter following years of drought.

The industry employs 50,000 permanent workers.

This year, 4% more apples are expected, while the pear harvest is likely to rise by 2%.

Agri Western Cape's Jannie Strydom said the sector was a major economic driver providing tens of thousands of jobs.

“Currently, there's about 50,000 permanent jobs in the industry, and with your seasonal workers added, it can be more than double that figure - so it's a great job creator.”

There are, however, some exporting challenges: “There are some infrastructure challenges in terms of our ports, to get containers and get the export done.”

Strydom is positive these issues will be dealt with in time to accommodate the higher volumes of fruit this year.

“We need to sort out the infrastructure and make sure that when we do have this type of harvest that we can do the exporting freely and without any obstruction.”

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