Author - Casidra

MINISTER IVAN MEYER HANDSOVER R50m MEERLUSTKLOOF AND MEUL RIVER PROJECTS

On Tuesday, 22 September  2021, the Western Cape Minister for Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, officially handed over the Meerlustkloof and Meul Project near Genadendal in the Overberg Region to the  Zonderend Water User Association.  Speaking at the handover of the R 50 million projects, Minister Meyer congratulated the project team consisting of officials of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA), Ruwacon Engineering and Martin & East for the construction and CASIDRA for the construction project management. Meyer: "We are celebrating...

Happy retirement

Casidra is bidding farewell to one of its stalwarts, Johan Bronkhorst, Regional Manager at our George Office who is retiring at the end of September 2021 after 31 years of uninterrupted service. Johan was one of the first employees of Lanok in 1990 now Casidra.  He leaves behind a great legacy both within Casidra and amongst our various stakeholders with whom he worked for many years.  Johan provided excellent support to the various farms, i.e. Henkries, Jackalskraal, Anhalt, Amalienstein...

CASIDRA BID FAREWELL TO 4 OUTGOING BOARD MEMBERS

Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, thanked all outgoing Board Members for their sterling work and valuable contributions during their tenure with Casidra.  “You demonstrated your full commitment to the vision of boosting agricultural and economic development opportunities in rural communities and I thank you for that”, says Minister Meyer. Ainsley Moos and Gerard Martin served for 8 years, Prof. Estian Calitz served for 10 years and Gugu Ntuli served for 13 years on Casidra’s Board.  We are...

Casidra’s Newfound Strategy Points to a More Relevant Future

The Board of Directors recently appointed Stuart Symington as the new Chief Executive Officer at Casidra. His skills make him ideally suited to the current challenges facing South Africa, where strategic insight, diplomacy, and the ability to execute successfully will be highly prized by the company. Finding innovative solutions to tough challenges underpins everything Stuart does. So it is for good reason that the Board and the management team look forward to his leadership at the helm of the...

WEST COAST PROJECTS TO BE FUNDED BY WESTERN CAPE AGRICULTURE

With much excitement, the Greenhands Community Food Garden project in Stompneus Bay on the West Coast and Middelpos Farm near Malmesbury received the news that the Western Cape Government will be funding their respective projects in this current financial year. Petronella Ponie of the Greenhands Community Food Garden Project says that the project will provide Stompneus Bay with an affordable,  nutritious and sustainable food source. Ponie says: “It has been hard work to get the garden established. Our volunteers are mostly...

AGRICULTURAL WORKERS GET THEIR JAB

Today, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture’s research farm, Elsenburg, hosted a vaccination outreach to agri-workers on the farm and from surrounding areas. The Cape Winelands District Health initiative resulted in 328 agri-workers and 94 qualifying staff members lining up for their Covid-19 vaccination. Commenting on the outreach, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer said: “Today’s outreach is primarily targeted at our agri-workers, farmers and producers.” Dr Meyer said it was vital that we encourage people to vaccinate against the...

Garden Route Municipality SMME Support handover ceremony

Casidra was commended for the sterling work of rolling out the SMME Support Project during the virtual Garden Route Municipality handover ceremony on the 6th of July 2021. The Executive Mayor, Alderman Memory Booysen, emphasised that partnerships between government and the private sectors can yield positive results.  “To grow our economy, we must start at the grassroots level by helping SMMEs in our jurisdiction to grow and create jobs as well as put food on their table”, said Alderman Booysen. 19...

GARLIC PROJECT CREATES JOBS IN MURRAYSBURG

Following the financial support of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA), a small-scale garlic project in Murraysburg is playing a role in creating much-needed jobs in the Central Karoo town of Murraysburg. Murraysburg Garlic (Pty) Ltd was the brainchild of the grandfather of brothers Craig and Ryan Newborn. He was determined to secure the future of employees who had been employed on the family farm for a long time. "We then decided to create an opportunity for staff, who have...

THE WESTERN CAPE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE RECEIVES SILVER AWARD FOR ‘ONE HOME ONE GARDEN’ CAMPAIGN

The Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) received a silver award during the Premier’s Award ceremony for their outstanding performance in successfully rolling out their ‘One Home One Garden’ campaign. This follows after the WCDoA encouraged every household to have a food garden to enable them to contribute towards their families’ food security as part of the COVID-19 response in 2020. Food production units, in the form of vegetable gardens or a chicken house, were delivered and set up by...

MINISTERS DIDIZA AND MEYER COMMISSION EBENHAESER IRRIGATION SCHEME

On Saturday 12 June 2021, the National Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza and Western Cape Minister for Agriculture, Ivan Meyer, officially commissioned the Ebenhaeser Irrigation Scheme, West Coast District. The commissioning of the Ebenhaeser Irrigation Scheme follows the successfully concluded 2020 Ebenhaeser land restitution claim. In terms of the claim, the national and provincial government would ensure the revitalisation of the Ebenhaeser Irrigation Scheme and upgrade the off-farm irrigation infrastructure to ensure the on-farm viability of...

Casidra’s Regional Office implementation of Garden Route Municipality SMME Support Project

Casidra is currently implementing the Small Micro Medium Enterprises (SMME) project on behalf of the Garden Route District Municipality to support and develop entrepreneurs in the area. This Municipality has made R608 000 available to grow and develop 20 identified small emerging businesses to grow and develop after facing serious challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The identified businesses being supported range from needlework initiatives, funeral parlours, construction companies, events management companies, etc. Casidra, known for its reputable financial management,...

MINISTER IVAN MEYER OFFICIALLY OPENS R78 MILLION HOLSLOOT WEIR IN RAWSONVILLE

On Thursday, 27 May 2021, the Western Cape Minister for Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, officially opened the Holsloot Weir near Rawsonville and handed it over to the Holsloot Water User Association to operate. Speaking at the official opening and handover of the R78 million project, Minister Meyer congratulated the project team consisting of officials of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA), Stellenbosch University, Ingerop Consulting Engineers, JVC Construction and implemented by Casidra. Meyer: "We are today celebrating the completion of...

PREMIER ALAN WINDE AND MINISTER MEYER CONGRATULATE DRONE PILOTS

Premier of the Western Cape Alan Winde joined the Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, at the Wings Ceremony of 18 newly qualified drone pilots. The officials recently completed the South African Civil Aviation Authority examination to obtain a Remote Pilot License (RPL).  Speaking at the event, Minister Meyer highlighted that the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) embraces the 4th IR and the use of associated technologies such as drone technology. Minister Meyer: “Drone technology will play an increasing...

YOUTH INSPIRED FOOD GARDEN MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN ELSIES RIVER

Yesterday, the Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, visited the Trinity Youth Garden based at Trinity Place in Elsies River. Inspired by the Climate Justice Movement and a desire to make a difference in their community, brothers Geronimo and Valentino de Klerk began the garden in a dumping space previously utilised as an escape route by local criminals. The open space has been transformed into a community garden supporting several local feeding projects in the area. De Klerk: "We have...

Holsloot Project – Rawsonville

Jacques Swanepoel, Senior Project Manager: Technical, is proud to showcase the successful completion of the Holsloot Project in the Rawsonville area. This is an exemplary state-of-the-art multi-million Rand project that demonstrates Casidra’s project management excellence!

TABLE GRAPE INDUSTRY SET FOR RECORD YEAR

The Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, welcomes the news that the South African Table Grape Industry reached a total intake for the 2020/2021 season of 73 million cartons. This is significantly more than the 66.15 million cartons recorded last year. Meyer: "This is great news for the Western Cape. The current pandemic has led to an increased demand for healthy foods worldwide, causing further increased demands for fresh fruit and vegetables. Greater market access and an increase...

e-BOOKLETS TO FAST TRACK CLIMATE CHANGE RESILIENCE IN AGRICULTURE

Yesterday, the Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, launched the Western Cape Department of Agriculture’s (WCDoA’s) e-booklets on climate change entitled “The Mercury Rises”. Based on the popular award-winning radio series “Die Kwik Styg", the e-booklets are available in the three official languages of the Western Cape – English, Afrikaans and IsiXhosa. Speaking at the launch Minister Meyer highlighted that climate change is one of his ministerial priorities. Meyer: “Addressing the impact of climate change is one of my Ministerial...

WESTERN CAPE AGRICULTURE BUDGET 2021 – “A BUDGET TO SUPPORT ECONOMIC RECOVERY”

Today I tabled the Western Cape Agriculture Budget 2021 in the Provincial Parliament. I announced a total budget of R909.086 million. This budget facilitates the critical role that the Agricultural Sector plays to drive the economy and create jobs in the Western Cape. We have allocated R122.724m to Sustainable Resource Use and Management R274.986m to Agricultural Producer Support and Development R97.093m to Veterinary Services R141.115m to Research and Technology Development Services R46.971m to Agricultural and Economic Services R57.393m to Agricultural Education and Training and R28.958 to Rural Development   To support...

ALIEN CLEARING PROJECTS CREATE 1000 JOBS PER ANNUM

Earlier today, the Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, visited the Western Cape Department of Agriculture's (WCDoA) alien clearing project at Zonquasdrift located downstream of the Berg River in the Drakenstein Municipality, Cape Winelands. According to the Minister, protecting, maintaining, and restoring the Province's ecological infrastructure is a critical part of the work done by the WCDoA. Minister Meyer: "Firstly, removal of invasive alien plants (IAP's) that use excessive amounts of water will increase water available to the agricultural,...

A YOUNG FEMALE FARMER FEELS EMPOWERED

Mrs Lesley Morrison, a 35 year old female farmer of free range chicken and CASP beneficiary based in Hopefield, received the transfer of ownership documentation for a Mahinda Bolero loader 2.5 with a towbar and canopy from Casidra's Project Manager, Mr Khaya Dzula, on the16th of February 2021. Her project's application for a vehicle was approved and funded by the WCDoA's White Meat CPAC in 2017. We wish her every success with her project.

TRANSFER OF ASSET TO BIADICA 60 FARM

Casidra handed a Isuzu vehicle (bakkie) to Shereen Abrahams, a beneficiary/farmer of Biadica 60 on the 5th of February 2021. This follows after Biadica 60 received CASP funding from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture five years ago. We are very excited and wish them all the success with their farm. #FortheLoveofAgriculture.

A WARM WELCOME TO OUR NEW CEO

Stuart has acted in the capacity of MD, CEO and non-executive director in the perishable FMCG sector over the last twenty years. More specifically, he has led organizations in the public and private sectors, both in South Africa and Europe that were involved in very complex, fresh fruit export value chains. In the private sector, Stuart has helped turn around multi-billion rand companies relatively quickly. This was achieved by looking at every facet of the businesses to see where things could...

STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP TO INCREASE EXPORTS TO CHINA

Over the past two weeks, Western Cape table grapes producers have been harvesting table grapes. These are to be marketed under the South African Table Grape Industry’s (SATI's) China Market Development Campaign in March 2021. The campaign is a strategic partnership between the table grape industry and the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) and aims to increase market access for table grape producers. Minister Meyer: “One of my Ministerial priorities is market access. The strategic partnership with SATI is aligned...

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,...

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...