H-2A program in agricultural sector high on the agenda

4 Aug 23 | Chamber News

A delegation of SA Chamber USA met with the US Ambassador to South Africa, Dr Rueben E. Brigety II, at the US Embassy in Pretoria. The meeting focused on a wide range of commerce topics, with a particular emphasis on promoting direct foreign investment from the US to South Africa through the H-2A program in the agricultural sector.

The SA Chamber USA has been actively working with sector stakeholders and the government to make the H-2A program more inclusive and promote diversification. One key objective is to increase access to the program for rural communities in South Africa. The country boasts a pool of talented farm workers and Agri-College students who would greatly benefit from participating in the H-2A program.

South Africa currently stands as the second-largest provider of seasonal agricultural workers to the USA, following Mexico. The SA Chamber USA, along with its members, recognizes the opportunity to maintain the existing H-2A talent pool while driving diversification through increasing the number of H-2A participants through inclusion of new recruits from underrepresented groups. During the meeting, goals and objectives were set, and further discussions with sector stakeholders will take place to ensure tangible outcomes.

The number of South Africans participating in the H-2A program will increase from the current 9 500 workers to number over 10 000 workers through diversification. The growth of the program though diversification is a shared priority. To launch the diversification and inclusion efforts of South Africans benefiting from the H-2A program, Ambassador Brigety also hosted a follow-up event at his residence in Pretoria.

The SA Chamber USA was represented by Mr. Heinrich April and several H-2A recruiters and agents who pledged their support to the initiative. Overall, this collaboration between the SA Chamber USA, sector stakeholders, and the US Embassy holds great potential for promoting direct foreign investment and creating opportunities for underrepresented groups in South Africa’s agricultural sector through the H-2A program. More information is available on www.sachamberusa.com

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