Agriculture plays a critical role in South Africa’s economy. It is a key employer and provides food, fibre and fuel for domestic use and further production of goods and services. Agriculture is becoming increasingly mechanised to maximise production yield and keep pace with demand. Highly specialised equipment and machinery used in agricultural production requires competent and skilled operators.
Agricultural equipment operators spend majority of their time in farming fields and work long hours in peak seasons. They can also be exposed to dangerous chemical and equipment and are required to work in all types of weather conditions.
Agricultural equipment operators must have a strong understanding of how to operate and monitor heavy machinery. They need to have good physical stamina and strength, also benefitting from:
Operate tractors, combines, irrigation and other farm equipment
Attach farm implements such as sprayers to harvesters or tractors
Monitor, repair, and service farm machinery when machines malfunction
Load hoppers, containers, or conveyors to feed machines with products, using forklifts, transfer augers, suction gates, shovels or pitchforks
Agricultural equipment operators will benefit from a National Certificate in Primary Agriculture in Plant Production at National Qualifications Framework Levels 1 to 4 offered at agricultural colleges and most Technical and Vocational Education and Training Colleges. Training could also take place on the job with mentoring by an experienced operator.
Commercial farming organisations.
Private farming operations.