Zimbabwe upheaval 'will not happen here' Despite numerous and complex problems surrounding deregulation, black empowerment, the weak rand and unemployment, the Western Cape's agricultural minister Gerrit Van Rensberg believes he has reason to be optimistic. "Unemployment in the Western Cape is doing better than the rest of the country. Last year it created more jobs than any other region. People are moving in and the economy is growing." This is, of course, relative. The unemployment rate in the region is 18.4%, against a national average closer to 40%. Within that, agriculture employs 156,000 people out of a pool of 1.6 million employable people. But Van Rensberg says the fruit growers are beginning to solve their own problems by returning to their tried and trusted exporters rather than the new boys who made promises they couldn't deliver. "Instead of the 150 export operators there will be five or 10 in the future and product quality will be under better control and the growers will make sure that what happened in the past won't happen again." At the same time the growers are facing theupheavals generated by black empowerment. The regional government is playing a key role in the resettlement programme instigated by central government which is returning the black and coloured population to the land. "It is important we make a success of this, otherwise they will become a burden to us. It is important for the fruit industry that some of the new farmers are black or coloured. We don't want parts of the Cape with only white farmers. They can help by putting the new farmers on the land and giving labourers a share of the farming business, and there has been no resistance to this." But the minister is well aware of the problems facing Zimbabwe. "If land reform takes place here in an orderly way our government will not let that type of thing happen in South Africa," he says. {{Z SUPPLEMENTS }}