HOD welcomes 22 New Vet Graduates to Mpumalanga

March 09, 2017 at 13:49 p.m

Mbombela - The Head in the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs Ms Sindisiwe Xulu has officially welcomed the 2017 group of Compulsory Community Service Veterinarians on 07 February 2017 in Nelspruit.  She urged the 22 new graduates to render veterinary services to various rural communities in the province, and to represent the Department with pride and dignity.

“We are happy and we appreciate the fact that the CCS Vets were chosen to assist our communities, and we expect a lot from you.  Our Province is mostly rural and poverty was rife.  We note that you have taken a highly respected profession, with scares skills desperately needed in those far flung rural areas.  Go out there and be the face of the Department.  The services that you will be rendering means a lot to us, and the communities you will be serving”, said Ms Xulu to the new VETs.

The national Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries implemented the Compulsory Community Service (CCS) for newly qualified Veterinarians since January 2016.  Mpumalanga was allocated 24 of those CCS Veterinarians, to carry out primary animal health care as well as sterilisation of dogs and cats in rural areas where the shortage of this scarce skill is frequently experienced. 

There are over 120 Veterinarians released each year from the country’s only Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Pretoria.  Most of them immediately leave to overseas countries, causing a severe brain drain to the country.  The CCS Programme is aimed at ensuring that each one of them ploughs back to the country for a minimum of one year.  Ms Xulu pleaded with the Vets to consider staying within the department after their 12 months CCS contracts.  Meanwhile, the 2016 group of 26 Vets, whose contracts expired in December, each received a certificate at an event at Ingwenyama Sports Resort outside White River, and they were hailed for their role during the 12 months of their contract.