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Berry farming in Barberton

We love an entity that goes above and beyond the call of duty. Bosses at mining company Pan African Resources in Barberton, Mpumalanga, were so aghast at the lack of jobs in the area that they felt they had to do something more, Business Times reported. So they researched the most labour intensive operation that could succeed in the region, and are now starting a berry farm! This is important: while our GDP grew unexpectedly in the first quarter of this year, it was the sectors that aren’t labour intensive, like financial services, that did so. 

We need more jobs in sectors like mining and agriculture to absorb the huge amount of largely unskilled labour in South Africa. So a big “well done” to Pan African Resources and its CEO Cobus Loots, who said conditions in the local community are “so desperate” that he cannot allow his business to run as usual. The project will create 400 seasonal berry-picking jobs from June to October and expects to create over 800 jobs in its second and third phases.

This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 17 June 2021. Sign up to receive our weekly updates