Author - Casidra

WESTERN CAPE MARKET ACCESS PROGRAMME SUPPORTS AGRIBUSINESSES

Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, recently visited Marice Mercuur, winner of the Ministerial Special Award for Youth at the 2019 Western Cape Female Entrepreneur Awards Competition. What started for Mercuur as a quest to find a remedy to treat her daughter's severe eczema has resulted in her business, Marice Mercuur (Pty) Ltd. Today, she manufactures and supplies health and beauty products. Mercuur proudly said, “I started experimenting with glycerine soap and rooibos tea. I was amazed by the results,...

CASIDRA SEASON’S GREETINGS

“On behalf of the Casidra’s Acting CEO, Management and Staff, we would like to take this opportunity to THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT throughout this difficult year. 2020 brought forward some trying time and great uncertainty.  We look forward to this continued relationship into 2021 and wish you all a Blessed Festive Season and a Prosperous New Year” Acting CEO, Freek van Zyl  

WCDoA supports wine tourism employees with R12 million support funding

 The Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) will be providing crucial relief to employees in the South African wine tourism sector, in the form of a R12 million support funding. The Wine Tourism Worker Support Stipend (WTWSS) was officially launched at Elsenburg. The aim is to safeguard the continuous employment of wine tourism workers by subsidising their salaries for a key quarter of the tourism calendar. Dr Ivan Meyer, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, said: “The Western Cape Cabinet has prioritised...

FOOD SECURITY: ONE HOME ONE GARDEN LAUNCH

Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, and Minister of Agriculture, Ivan Meyer, launched the One Home-One Garden initiative for the Metro in Mitchell's Plain. A huge word of thanks and congratulations goes to our Casidra Food Security team led by Michael Mackenzie who were hands on to ensure the availability of food garden starter packs for distribution to the needy. Casidra is extremely proud of our Team for continuing to raise our flag high.  You are a bunch of winners!  Meyer emphasised, "We are...

ACEO’s Desk: VOTE OF APPRECIATION FOR THE YEAR

In a year that will go down in history books as a time that brought the world literally to a complete standstill due to COVID-19, we operated in an environment where the economic realities and social challenges deteriorated. This has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic that has reaped havoc worldwide, causing major disruptions to economies and the unfortunate loss of life of many. Casidra had to adapt fast and ensure that it continues with its primary mandate – that...

FIRST GROUP OF DRONE PILOTS RECEIVE THEIR WINGS

On the 25th of November 2020, the Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, officiated at the Wings Ceremony of recently qualified drone pilots affiliated to the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA). The WCDoA assisted the group consisting of students, interns and officials to successfully sit for the South African Civil Aviation Authority examination to obtain their Remote Pilot License (RPL). Training was provided by Drone-X, a Civil Aviation Authority approved drone training school. Speaking at the Wings Ceremony, Minister Meyer congratulated...

RECORD GRAIN HARVEST WILL BOLSTER ECONOMIC RECOVERY

Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, accompanied by Executive Mayor Sakkie Franken of the Overberg District Municipality and Mayor Paul Swart of the Cape Agulhas Municipality recently visited grain farming enterprise, Agri Dwala (Pty) Ltd in Napier in the Overberg region. The visit comes off the back of the news that the Western Cape is expecting one of the largest winter grains and oilseed crop in recent history, shattering previous records. Commenting on the forecasted bumper year, Minister Meyer...

5 Days of Remembrance

While we have made significant strides in containing the COVID-19 pandemic, we are saddened that, as a nation, we have lost many lives as a result of COVID-19. Many families have lost their relatives who have succumbed to COVID-19. We have lost frontline workers who died in the line of duty, paying the ultimate sacrifice, while trying to save the lives of others from COVID-19.

LONG SERVICE AND TOP PERFORMER AWARDS 2020

Congratulations to the following employees who received their long service and top performance awards.  5-Year Long Service receivers are Justin Janse, Yandisa Ndongeni, Constance Makhuvha, Loinice Seconds, Wouter Kriel and Warren Marcus.  Andrea Pretorius received her 10-year long service award.  The top performers for 2020 were Jacques Swanepoel in the third place, Lynette Neethling in the second place and Warren Marcus as the overall winner.  Well done! Awards

MINISTER IVAN MEYER VISITS SMALL- SCALE FARMERS IN EBENHAESER

Western Cape Minister of Agriculture Dr Ivan Meyer recently visited small-scale farmers in Ebenhaeser, in the Matzikama Municipality District. Two such farmers are Natasha Love and Niklaas Le Roux who are both supported by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA).  Natasha farms on two hectares and produces Chenin Blanc grapes.  The grapes are sold to Cederberg Cellar. The wine is then produced, bottled and exported to Sweden.    Natasha stated, “The Western Cape Department of Agriculture kindly took us by the...

WORLD FOOD DAY 2020 COMMEMORATION IN RIETPOORT

During this year’s World Food Day, the Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, visited several vegetable garden projects in Rietpoort, in the Matzikama Municipality, West Coast District. During the visit, Minister Meyer highlighted the importance of food security. Minister Meyer said, “Food security is essential for the development of the nation. It is for this reason that the Western Cape Government is currently rolling out household and community food gardens across the Western Cape.” Meyer continued: "We are encouraging households...

The PERO AND MERO HIGHLIGHTS AGRICULTURE’S COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

I am pleased to note that the recently tabled Provincial Economic Review and Outlook (PERO) and Municipal Economic Review and Outlook (MERO) highlights the Agricultural Sector’s competitive advantage. The PERO and MERO draws insights from data and evidence-based research into the Agricultural Sector in the Western Cape. Some of the key highlights as it relates to the Agricultural Sector are: Agriculture was the only sector that positively contributed to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in the 2nd quarter, contributing to the...

SMALL-SCALE FARMERS PLAY A CRITICAL ROLE IN FOOD SECURITY

The Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) recently partnered with Agri-Expo to present a farmer day, themed Small-Scale Farmers in an Urban Environment. The SPCA in Grassy Park hosted the farmer day. Agri-Expo made the event accessible via an online platform. Topics varied from livestock suitable for the environment, livestock pests and parasites in confined spaces and how one farming enterprise can benefit another. Addressing the audience, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture highlighted that farmer support and development was one of his...

One Home One Garden Campaign

https://youtu.be/p2ZoQHxR9dQ   The Western Cape government says COVID-19 has highlighted how critical food security is. A campaign launched before the pandemic, One Home One Garden, has been ramped up to assist communities. Starter kits, including seedlings, compost, and other gardening equipment are being handed out to encourage food gardens. A community garden project in Mitchells Plain on the Cape Flats received a boost as part of the project.

MESSAGE FROM THE ACTING CEO’S DESK

According to the experts, it is still not over yet and it will take a while until the COVID-19 pandemic is over. As citizens, we have a responsibility to adapt to new fundamental ways of living. Yes, our lives have really changed in many ways and it is not going to be business as usual from now onwards until this virus is gone. Although everyone is doing their utmost best to flatten the curve of...

MANDELA DAY 2020

PEBBLES PROJECT Team Casidra put their hands together by raising funds to support the Pebbles Project as part of its 90 minutes for Nelson Mandela’s 2020 birthday celebration despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Casidra staff members donated education packs so that children at the Pebbles Project ECD centres do not have to share classroom resources. Each pack also included a mask, wet wipes and hand sanitizer. The Pebbles Project extended a word of gratitude to everyone for making donations towards Mandela...

MINISTER MEYER VISITS GRAIN FARMERS IN THE SWARTLAND

The Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, and Executive Mayor of the Swartland Municipality, Mr Tjimen van Essen, visited Swartland grain and livestock farmers, Alfreda Mars and Andries van der Poll. Alfreda Mars farms with sheep and grain on her farm, Middelpos 946. According to Mars, the farm’s grain production has been doing well over the past two years. The drought, however, has also impacted her yield. She is supported by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture who with...

MINISTER IVAN MEYER VISITS SUCCESSFUL YOUTH FARMER

The Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, visited Booysen’s Tunnel Farming, owned by youth farmer Byron Booysen outside Kraaifontein in Cape Town. Booysen’s Tunnel Farming is slowly establishing itself as a commercial producer and supplier of tomatoes to local markets. Six years ago, Byron decided to follow his dream to own a farm business one day. With the support of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and Casidra, his goal is slowly becoming a reality. Booysen’s Tunnel Farming produces tomatoes in 4...

ONE HOME, ONE GARDEN – FROM FOOD RELIEF TO FOOD SECURITY

The Western Cape Government's ‘One Home, One Garden’ Campaign is gaining momentum across the Province with a total of 1371 food gardens established over the past two months. 433 Gardens were established in the Metro with 123 of them being in Gugulethu. Other areas that have benefitted include Riversdale, Groot Brak, Thembalethu, Nduli, Bella Vista and DuNoon, amongst others. Commenting on the ‘One Home, One Garden’ Initiative, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, said: “One of my key...

Helpful Tips for Women Farmers

Women farmers make up an estimated 60 – 80 percent of smallholder farming in sub-Saharan Africa. However, it is estimated that only about 20 percent are land holders. Another staggering statistic is that women farmers make up on average 43 percent of the agricultural labour in developing countries. In some countries women farmers are the majority. Over two-thirds of employed women work in agriculture in South Asia, while in Eastern Africa over half are women farmers. Yet, through compounding levels of exclusion it...

FAREWELL TO MASIBONGE SILEVU

Our Chief Officer Technical, Masibonge Silevu, will be leaving our employ on the 31 August 2020. We would like to take this opportunity to thank him for valuable contributions he made. We wish him well for his future endeavours.

ONE HOME ONE GARDEN CAMPAIGN

HOUSEHOLDS TO START FOOD PRODUCTION UNITS In support of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture’s (WCDoA) One Home One Garden Campaign Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer recently visited food gardens in Witzenberg. According to Minister Meyer, every household needs to have a food garden as it will contribute towards the family’s food security. Minister Meyer: “As part of our Covid-19 response, the One Home One Garden Campaign encourages households to start their own food production units.” Food production units come...

WC RESEARCH DAIRIES DONATE MILK TO THE VULNERABLE

Yesterday, Western Cape Department of Agriculture's research dairy farms in Stellenbosch and George donated milk to the Milk Producers Organisation for further distribution amongst vulnerable communities in the Western Cape. Speaking at the handover, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, highlighted the impact that Covid-19 has had on the poor. Minister Meyer: “Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on the most vulnerable in our society. No person or family should ever go hungry. We need to work together to...

TO ALL BENEFICIARIES/CLIENTS AND SERVICE PROVIDERS

Due to the National Lockdown in the country, kindly note that delays with payments and project deliveries could possibly occur or not processed on time during this period.  Casidra SOC Ltd apologise for the inconvenience  and continues to explore all possible avenues to render a service to you. Your kind consideration and patience in this regard will be highly appreciated. By Order Casidra Management For any enquiries contact Experience Matshediso   PR/Communications Manager C: 082 560 5444 E: ematshediso@casidra.co.za

TRANSFORMATION IN THE TIME OF COVID-19

I must admit that when I wrote my last Column in March, just before South Africa entered into the Covid-19 lockdown, I was under the impression that we will go into a short and disruptive lockdown, but re-emerge after only a few weeks to continue with our lives as before. But after 60 days of lockdown under various levels (First Level 5 and currently Level 4, with Level 3 commencing in June), we now know that things are working...

R10 MILLION IN FODDER SUPPORT

MEDIA RELEASE BY DR IVAN MEYER WESTERN CAPE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE DATE: 19 MAY 2020 RELEASE: IMMEDIATELY R10 MILLION IN FODDER SUPPORT DISTRIBUTED IN THE WESTERN CAPE The Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) has distributed R10 million in fodder support to 1727 farmers located in extreme or critically extreme drought areas in the Western Cape. These areas include Central and Little Karoo, parts of the Cape Winelands and the northern parts of Matzikamma. The distribution of fodder support vouchers to qualifying farmers has occurred with...

COVID-19 response plan for Witzenberg

3 May 2020 On Thursday, 30 April 2020, I met with key stakeholders in Witzenberg to present the cabinet approved Western Cape Government Integrated Covid-19 Response Plan for the Witzenberg region. This plan is in response to the rapid increase in the number of Covid-19 positive cases in the Witzenberg region and follows consultation with various Provincial Departments, the Mayors and Deputy Mayors of Witzenberg and Cape Winelands District Municipalities, Agri Western Cape, the Witzenberg Business Initiative and relevant law enforcement...

MESSAGE FROM THE ACTING CEO’S DESK

As we are facing the most difficult times of our lives due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic which continues to spread across the globe and into Africa, I am profoundly concerned about the development of this pandemic and the effect it may have on each citizen across the countries at large. Over the past weeks, we have intensified our meetings and have been developing plans in consultation with our stakeholders to protect employees and our operations. It would be amiss of...

THE COVID-19 LOCKDOWN REGULATIONS

The recently announced 21 Day COVID-19 Lockdown Regulations has understandably created much anxiety within the agriculture sector.  I do however want to assure farmers and farmworkers that in terms of Regulation No. 398 of the Disaster Management Act, 2002, the sector, being responsible for food security, has been declared as essential. This declaration reemphasises that the entire food value chain, from farm-related operations, agro-processing and food manufacturing, logistics and related services, wholesale and retail services, and all support functions that ensure...

EXPROPRIATION WITHOUT COMPENSATION

The issue of EWC is stubbornly staying with us, and even urban home owners have started asking about the implications of what would happen to their home loans in the case of a house being expropriated without compensation. The Banking Association of South Africa’s response, that the bond is a contract between you as an individual and the Bank, and as such remains payable, did not do any good to the prevailing negative sentiment. The LREAD attended a symposium on...

NEW HEAD OF AGRICULTURE FOR WESTERN CAPE

Dr Ivan Meyer, Provincial Minister of Agriculture in the Western Cape, has officially announced Dr Mogale Sebopetsa as the new Head of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA). Minister Meyer: “I am looking forward to working with the newly appointed Head of Department (HoD) for Agriculture in the Western Cape. He has extensive public sector management skills and will bring knowledge as an agricultural scientist. He has also established a good working relationship with agricultural stakeholders.” Dr Sebopetsa currently holds...

Anhalt hand over to the Haarlem Community

 It was an auspicious occasion when the Deputy Minister of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR), Mcebisi Skwatsha, handed over a Title Deed for the Anhalt farm during a ceremony held at the Haarlem Community Centre on Saturday, 15 February 2020. This became a historic day for the community after striving for the past almost 20 years to get the Anhalt farm transferred. Prior to this handover, Deputy Minister Skwatsha visited Anhalt and said that the members...

Trends in SA Agriculture

SA Agriculture has faced multiple challenges over the past decade for various reasons. Numerous parts of the country experienced drought and continue to combat this challenge, the Rand depreciated significantly, and investor uncertainty grew. Furthermore, faming technology is changing rapidly, sustainability is a priority and there continues to be a skills shortage in the agricultural sector. Despite these challenges the trends that have developed in SA agriculture are positive and need to be as the world looks at ways to feed a...

LREAD PERSPECTIVE- 2019 REFLECTION

And here we have arrived at the end of another year in South Africa! As usual, it was full of ups and downs, but that is all part of what makes our country so special. It was also an interesting year in terms of land reform activities. Here is a quick recap. Expropriation without Compensation (EWC), dominated the land discourse throughout the year. It was used as a main rallying call leading up to the elections in May by both...

A SOC setting the trend with unqualified audits since inception

State-Owned Companies (SOC) can offer meaningful benefits to the economy of a developing country when managed correctly. Due to misdirection of resources, some SOCs have underperformed, thus having a negative impact on public finances and economic growth in South Africa. Citizens expect high-quality services from an SOC and also demand a high level of transparency, reporting and accountability. With shrinking budgets and higher demand, public agencies need to continue to find ways to be prudent in their operations by managing more efficiently,...

CASIDRA DID IT AGAIN DURING ITS 30 YEARS OF EXISTENCE

Casidra achieved its 30th consecutive unqualified financial report. The Board and the Executive Authority have expressed their appreciations for maintaining this accolade of good track record since the inception of our organisation in 1989. They are all of the same view that this is a testimony of good governance. The Chairperson of the Board, Mr. Ainsley Moos presented the 2018/19 Annual Report to the Executive Authority, Minister Ivan Meyer during an Annual General Meeting which was held at Casidra...

Casidra Team’s donations towards the Pebbles Project for Mandela Day Celebration

Casidra's Team donated soup pack ingredients to the Pebbles Project as part of the Company's Mandela Day Celebration. On the day, our selected team representatives visited the Pebbles Project centre in Kraaifontein to deliver the ingredients. The team then spent their 67 minutes for Mandela Day doing the packing and sorting of soup packs for the beneficiaries.

The Western Cape Minister of Agriculture visits Casidra

Minister Ivan Meyer visited Casidra on Friday, the 2nd of August 2019 and was he extremely impressed with the work we do in the Agriculture sector. Minister Meyer's strong belief is that people should always admire, respect and love Agriculture. He outlined five priorities for Casidra to work on as follows: Training and Education; Farmer Support Development; Rural Safety; Market Access and Climate Change. #ForTheLoveofAgriculture

The premier and his cabinet met the agriculture sector

Premier Alan Winde, Minister of Agriculture Dr Ivan Meyer and the entire Western Cape cabinet met with representatives from the agricultural sector to discuss the successes and challenges and challenges they face. The meeting forms part of a series of engagements Premier Winde and his cabinet will hold with various sectors and role players in the Province, which will be taking place over the coming months. Premier Winde thanked the sector for its resilience and for continuing to invest in agriculture,...

Youth Development in Agriculture

Youth Development and creating sustainable employment are key components to Casidra’s project management portfolio in rural areas. Development in rural areas is needed in building infrastructure, improving education as well as health standards and living conditions and generating employment opportunities across a range of industries. One such industry is farming and agriculture in which it has become increasingly challenging to encourage young people to pursue as a vocation. Despite new technologies and progressive methods, the image of the weather-beaten farmer working under...

Corporate Social Responsibility and Rural Development

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) refers to the voluntary investment of a company in social/economic projects focused on advancing society with regard to housing, education, health care, food security, job creation and the environment. CSR, therefore, forms an integral part of the ‘give back’ strategy of any company that has the capability of planning and developing such programmes. Contributing towards the betterment and upliftment of society and maintaining harmonious relationships are seen as important - both on business and societal levels....

Renewable Energy and Rural Opportunities

The beauty of renewable energy is that it naturally replenishes itself through sunlight, wind, tides, waves, rain, biomass and geothermal heat. Year by year our energy demands increase, while our supply of raw materials diminishes. Clearly, urgent and innovative action needs to be taken. Preparing for renewables is vital, together with the training required to leverage this option to the fullest extent for the wide range of concomitant (accompanying) employment opportunities that are bound to arise, both in urban and...

30 April 2019 – LAND REFORM ADVISORY DESK PERSPECTIVE

It is two weeks before the 2019 National Elections in South Africa and depending on where you stand, you may be excited or anxious about the outcome. Land reform, expropriation without compensation and changes to Section 25 of the Constitution were all topics regularly mentioned by many parties competing in the build up to this election. The land issue, as part of South Africa’s history, and the transformation project, as part of South Africa’s future, remain as emotive and...

NEW SHAREHOLDER REPRESENTATIVE WELCOMED

Casidra’s Board of Directors and Management team extended a warm welcome to the new Minister of Economic Opportunities, Ms Beverly Schäfer, during a meeting held at Casidra’s Head Office on the 22nd of November 2018. During her introduction, Minister Schäfer expressed her appreciation and said that it is a wonderful privilege to be Casidra’s new Executive Authority. She further expressed her excitement to continue working with Casidra as Provincial Government Enterprise and said that one of her key responsibilities...

World Food Day celebrated in Brandwacht

World Food Day celebrated in Brandwacht South Africa has joined the world in marking World Food Day to highlight the plight of millions of malnourished people in the world. The Western Cape Department of Agriculture and the National Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries hosted a World Food Day event on 24 October 2018 in Brandwacht. World Food Day is commemorated annually around the world on 16 October in remembrance of founding the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United...

CASIDRA WELCOMES THE NEW CEO: ASHLEY SEYMOUR

Casidra’s Board, Management and Staff have pleasure in welcoming its new Chief Executive Officer, Mr Ashley Seymour effective from 4th of March 2019. Mr Seymour is a Chartered Accountant (South Africa) who spent much of his career in development financing & Impact investing and is a seasoned Executive as well as Non-Executive Board member in both the public and private sectors.  He is a passionate South African, born and mostly raised in the rural parts of the Eastern Cape....

Entrepreneurship in the Rural Areas: SMMEs and funding

“I have this dream and I want to see it come true. And I will not give up. To achieve a goal, you have got to be a gambler, you have got to be certain you can do it.” ~ Chumak, Russian entrepreneur. A true entrepreneur is a rare animal, dedicated to their ideas, perhaps a little obsessive in their determination, often ready to start before everything has been fully explored and analysed. In a rural area where people may...

Project Management in Rural Development

Between government and conventional market forces lies a sometimes overlooked but strategically valuable economic arena that is vitally important with regard to sustainable development of land, upliftment of people, and the creation of job opportunities. Despite rapid urbanisation, rural areas still host the poorest people. Working to alleviate this poverty requires critical interventions on an on-going basis with the backing of both public and private sectors. How does project management work? Project management will begin by examining any activity required to...

LREAD Perspective December 2018

Land reform has been on the centre stage throughout 2018, and with national elections coming in the first half of 2019, one can expect much more in the months to come. Populist phrases and concepts such as “Expropriation without Compensation” and “give back the land” rang loud and clear throughout the year. But there were also critical and analytical evaluations on land reform by thought leaders throughout the year. A good example of this is work done by Professor Johan...