Ronnie Yeoman, manager of the SPCA (front right) and the charity’s chairman, Martin Pieterse (back, second from right), accepted a cheque for R16 000 from the RAS. Pictured with them are (back from left) Gavin Matthews, Terry Strachan, CEO of the Royal Agricultural Society, Izak Hofmeyr from Veeplaas, (front, from left) Chari Liebenberg, of NMR Engineering, and Janice Will of the RAS. Photo: Estelle Sinkins

The Pietermaritzburg SPCA received a welcome cash injection thanks to the expert auction patter of Gavin Matthews and guests at the Royal Agricultural Show (RAS) Gold Cup dinner earlier this year.

Ronnie Yeoman, manager of the charity, and Martin Pieterse, its chairman accepted a cheque for R16 000 from RAS chief executive officer, Terry Strachan, on Monday, August 7.

Also present were Izak Hofmeyr, regional manager of Veeplaas magazine and Chari Liebenberg from NMR Engineering in Mooi River. Veeplaas is the organiser of the Toyota SA National Young Auctioneer’s competition and Gavin Matthews was the winner of the KZN leg of this competition. NMR Engineering sponsored some of the items auctioned off during the dinner.


Held during the Royal Show, the competition, which aims to encourage people to get involved in the auctioneering profession, was divided into two categories – juniors aged 19 and younger, and those aged 30 and older. Participants were judged according to their rostrum performance and knowledge of livestock.

Matthews, a farmer from Lowlands, near Estcourt won the senior category and a R1 000 prize from the RAS at the KZN leg. He then cajoled guests at the Gold Cup dinner to part with their cash on Wednesday, July 31 by auctioning off a variety of sponsored items. Matthews will be participating in the finals of the auctioneer’s competition at ALFA 2017 in Parys, Free State, on September 13. The winner will represent South Africa in Argentina in 2018.

Accepting the RAS donation, Pieterse said that some of the money would help the organisation to make essential upgrades to its security and computer systems.

The SPCA, which no longer receives any funding from the National Lottery, takes care of between 500 and 600 dogs every month and between 200 and 300 cats and needs the support of the public to help feed the animals and give them medical treatment. – Press release