Be careful of agri scam

MEC Vusi Shongwe.

Masoka Dube

THE Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs in the province has distanced itself from a recent advertised Agricultural Entrepreneur Development Programme. The department’s MEC Vusi Shongwe said the bogus programme was aimed at scamming unsuspecting young people interested in starting agricultural businesses.

“We would like to warn members of the public against a scam doing rounds, involving people soliciting money from unemployed graduates applying for an advertised Agriculture Entrepreneur Development programme ,” said Shongwe.

“It has come to our attention that some of the applicants have received a call or an SMS requesting that they pay R5000 to guarantee their placement. Such a request for payment has no basis and must be reported to the nearest police station,” he said.

The MEC said the department advertised 120 vacancies earlier last month with the closing date for applications being April 20. He said they have received a high volume of applications and has just started with the selection processes that would lead to interviews.

“Once selected, the graduates will be placed in several farms across the province, for their entrepreneurial skills development and on-the-job training.” He said the advertised Agriculture Entrepreneur Development programme placement was not to be paid for.

The applicants who have queries about the programme should contact Thulani Nkuna at 013 766 2183/2021.