Author - Casidra


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 [...]


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’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 [...]


  Casidra is excited to announce a new Entrepreneur Support Fund to address the niche market of bridging contract finance between R5000 and R100 000 within the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises’ (SMME) sector. This is the provision of low cost contract finance which aims to increase the capacity of small and micro businesses to access market opportunities which previously would have been out of their reach. The growth and development of SMMEs are critical to address the high levels of [...]

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 [...]

E-Leaf 2018

Asian and African Immigrant Food Studies During 2017, the UTA conducted a study into the size of the Asian Migrant market in the Western Cape. Prior to this study, a similar study was conducted during 2015 for the African Migrant market in the Western Cape. These two sub-markets are similar in many respects although the African Migrant market is comparatively larger than the Asian Migrant market. A comparison of the two markets is made here given the niche market nature [...]

Creating a skilled workforce amidst poverty and inequality

South Africa has a high percentage of people below the poverty line. As most of these people are unskilled or untrained in any specific work or trade, they are largely ignored by industries. The problem facing government, the private sector and other stakeholders is how to find ways of inculcating skills in an overlooked group that is undereducated, inexperienced, all too often seen as unemployable. Each year about 3,5 million enter the workforce, with only 1,5 million ever likely to [...]


Caledonia Farming is situated outside Hopefield in the Sandveld area and farms with livestock (sheep and cattle) and grain production on a small commercial scale and has three beneficiaries (a mother, Miena and her sons, Carlo and Emile Baron). The project recently received a new bakkie by means of the WCDoA’s CASP funding and the beneficiaries are planning to add rooibos tea to their production in the near future.


The WCDoA and Casidra annually implement the Junior LandCare project, which focuses on creating awareness amongst young children in Grades 1 to 6.  This year, Marina Moller Eilers was contracted to do puppet shows for the children in the Eden, West Coast and Central Karoo regions.  The first set of puppet shows were held in the Eden district at the Towerkop Primary School in Ladismith reaching 230 Grade 1 learners and 217 Grades 2 and 3 learners as well [...]


Johannes Jacobus (JJ) Love, one of 153 farmers in Ebenhaeser, situated about 40 kilometres from Vredendal, farms on 2 hectares of land with a high density wine vineyard. The project is mentored by Namaqua Kelder’s Dirk de Bruyn who also funds some inputs and acts as the project’s marketing channel. Casidra started implementing the project two years ago on behalf of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture. Soil preparation, carbon fiber poles, vines and other production inputs were purchased with the [...]


LEARN 2 LIVE is a community organisation situated at Wallacedene, which has established a vegetable garden to empower its community. The project was funded by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture’s Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme for R44 000. Casidra, as the implementing agent, with Cynthia Lebenya as the Project Manager, used the funding to procure the field irrigation system, protective clothing and production inputs. The project currently produces vegetables and has established a medicinal garden. The project provides basic agricultural training to [...]


Integri-Agri (Pty) Ltd is a free-range egg farm located on the Boschendal Farm in the Stellenbosch area. This farming project was established by Rico Vergotine who oversees all farming operations with other two workers. Integri-Agri’s main objective is to produce the best quality eggs and broiler chickens with no negative impact on the environment. This farm aims to enhance an already existing free-range, pasture-raised operation, producing free-range (organic) eggs for the local supermarkets and restaurants. The project’s application for funding [...]

Education and Outcomes: vocational opportunities in the rural areas

“I do not wish for this life for my children. We can’t all end up being farm workers. They must be the generation that does something better with their lives.” ~ farm worker, anonymous. No matter how much attention is paid to improving education opportunities in South Africa, improvements in less-privileged areas, including specifically in the rural areas, remain a vital part of the process. In the past, people living in outlying areas often had to rely on farm schooling for [...]

Life in our Hands: protecting our environmental assets

Every year the very foundation of our existence and survival is put under pressure by numerous factors, most of which are affected by humans. Over the years, deforestation has affected several regions of the world in a negative way. Greater population growth means loss of forested land, and pressure on natural resources like our water systems and coastlines through the every-growing need to feed people. Yet without our vital environmental assets, we would be unable to farm, fish, and [...]

Environmental Impact Assessment Section 24G

An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a legal requirement that necessitates an investigation into the potential impact planned activities may have on the environment in which they are to be effected. This process culminates into either the issuance of environmental authorisation for those activities and/or waste license. These investigations can take the form of either a Basic Assessment (BA) or a full scoping and EIA. The Minister of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEADP), has prescribed in Section 24 of [...]

The Unexpected Revolution: why rural economies hold keys to job creation

When we think of job creation, we often think of big business or city/town projects that bring about accompanying opportunities for work. However, we tend to overlook the great potential lying in country areas where multi-faceted agricultural and related business opportunities are still untapped. All roads lead to Rome, they may say, but in essence successful initiatives can be found anywhere, not only in the towns and cities. How can we effect change? There is much talk about [...]

The unexpected revolution: Why rural economies hold keys to job creation

When we think of job creation, we often think of big business or city/town projects that bring about accompanying opportunities for work. However, we tend to overlook the great potential lying in country areas where multi-faceted agricultural and related business opportunities are still untapped. All roads lead to Rome, they may say, but in essence successful initiatives can be found anywhere, not only in the towns and cities. HOW CAN WE EFFECT CHANGE? There is much talk about what should be [...]

Langa Mountain Tomatoes

Yandisa Langa is the founder and sole owner/beneficiary of Langa Mountain Tomatoes in Tokai. This project produces and supplies tomatoes to local vegetable stalls, supermarkets and restaurants, and has created jobs for three employees in the area. Langa is a born entrepreneur and worked as a security guard at one of the local malls when he spotted a niche in the supply and delivery market. What inspired his idea was enquiries about the delays in food deliveries and the shortage [...]


Casidra has successfully completed the implementation of two chicken sheds for Kauthars Chicken Broilers in Hopefield. This is a Chicken broiler project that was started in 2016 and belongs to three female previously disadvantaged individuals. These beneficiaries applied for funding for the construction of broiler houses and production inputs and their request was approved by the Commodity Project Allocation Committee of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture. Approximately R700 000 of Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme funds was allocated to the [...]

Chief Executive Officer’s Desk – September 2018

Towards the end of 2017 the harsh reality of the current and intense drought experienced by the Western Cape, continued to play out. Casidra supported the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) in the procurement and provision of drought relief feed to farmers to support their livestock through this difficult period. The conditions also required farmers to reduce their herds, some of whom at times had a few more animals than they should have. To this effect, the drought [...]


Casidra was privileged to form part of the adjudication panel at the Western Cape Department of Agriculture’s (WCDoA) Junior LandCare’s water care campaign held at Elsenburg on 20 June 2018.  The adjudication panel was tasked with scoring grade 6 and 7 learners on speech, poster, drama and debate relating to Conservation of Natural Resources, Water, Environment and Energy. Ten schools participated in the speech category, five in the poster category, four in the debate category and six in the drama [...]

Good Governance through Partnerships

“Good governance never depends upon laws, but upon the personal qualities of those who govern.” ~ Frank Herbert Good Governance is a relatively new concept along with human rights, democracy and public participation. It means that any organisation, such as government institutions or private companies – or any facility that purports to provide a service, conduct public affairs and manage public resources – must act in the public interest at all times. In other words, governments and organisations must [...]

LREAD Perspective July 2018

Parliament is currently wrapping up public participation sessions throughout the country, which allowed ordinary South African citizens the opportunity to speak out on the proposal to amend Section 25 of the South African Constitution in order to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation. Some of these sessions have laid bare the raw emotion often accompanying discussions about land in our country. On the one hand, people are arguing that through colonialism and apartheid policies, black South African citizens’ [...]

Building an efficient, competitive and responsive infrastructure network

Infrastructure is the fundamental facility and system network serving a country, city, or community, including the services and resources necessary for the overall economy to function. It presents the physical systems of a business or nation such as: transportation, communication, sewage, water and electricity; these are all part of the infrastructure, and they are vital to a country’s economic development and prosperity. Without these basic, dynamically interlinked elements, cities cannot operate efficiently, and an economy cannot be soundly built [...]

Youth Development Opportunities: Community, Land and Lateral Thinking

The Way Forward “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main.” ~ John Donne (1624) The great lesson of life is that while we may appear to be sailing our own ship, we very rarely are. There is always a broader community at work, supporting our dreams, and bolstering our endeavours. The trick is to draw from our background of family and friends, while at the [...]

Food Security: the challenge of global hunger

Ensuring nutrition for the world’s burgeoning population is an ongoing concern in many countries. Food is considered a basic human right – yet in a world of billions, there are still many millions who suffer shortage of this vital commodity, or lack of access to good nutrition. There are many areas of action to alleviate this situation such as science programmes, biotechnology, improved animal husbandry, precision farming techniques, genetic modification, agricultural training, subsistence farming, garden farms, hydroponics, etc. But [...]

Changing Lives: Empowered, Fair and Inclusive Citizenship

Understanding what it means to be a citizen goes to the heart of personal and national identity. It’s about legal equality for each citizen – which means that you are entitled to equal rights with regard to: the right to vote, the right to serve in the military, the right to marry a native citizen, and the right to fair and equal representation in government and the law. The Power of Inclusive Citizenship Inclusive citizenship creates [...]

LREAD Perspective: Expropriation without compensation

Land expropriation without compensation is on everyone’s lips, since the EFF and the ANC proposed a Parliamentary Motion that could see the Constitution modified to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation. What does this mean for those affected? One would be naïve not to see the political machinations behind the motion: A partnership between the ANC and EFF could benefit the ANC, especially in the metro areas governed by DA led coalitions, in partnership with the EFF. The [...]


Pinehaven Agricultural Trading is a vegetable project that belongs to a family of five beneficiaries (three youths and two females). The land in production comprises 5.5 hectares in Lynedoch situated approximately 7km outside Stellenbosch. The vegetable crops planted include spinach, beetroot, green pepper, carrots, etc. and are distributed to vegetable markets after every successful harvest. The project has created jobs for 15 permanent workers and 30 seasonal workers. It has unleashed its potential and demonstrated to be highly [...]

World Food Day Celebration at Villiersdorp

One of the greatest challenges our impoverished communities face is a lack of food security, and the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) is attempting to turn this tide when it hosted the annual World Food Day celebration in Villiersdorp on Friday the 12th of October 2017. This was a well organised and attended event to promote sustainable food security amongst the Villiersdorp communities which crowded their stadium on the day to celebrate and receive food parcels and household [...]

Western Cape Commodity Project Receives Silver Award

Congratulations to the tri-partnership between Casidra, Hortgro and the WCDoA for winning the Silver Award for the Best Implemented Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme during the Western Cape Premier’s Annual Service Excellence Awards’ ceremony, which took place on the 28th of August 2017 in Cape Town.   This ceremony was an opportunity for the Premier and broader public to acknowledge outstanding performances from public service professionals in the Western Cape Government. Delivering the keynote address, Premier Zille said: “As we [...]


The Casidra 2018-year commenced at the solid pace with which it concluded in 2017. Concluding 2017, Casidra was wholly immersed assisting the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) in supporting livestock farmers in the drought-stricken areas of the Western Cape (WC). The Emergency Drought Relief programme required that feed be sourced from various agribusinesses to provide support to the farmers that qualified for the programme. Some of these stock items gradually started running low and supply became problematic at [...]

LREAD Perspective November 2017

The AgriSA Land Audit AgriSA made public its much anticipated South African Land Audit this month. A lot has been said about agricultural land ownership in South Africa, but no credible statistics have been available to back up the various claims. The AgriSA Land Audit, done together with Media24 and economist Johann Bornman of Agri Development Solutions, is an attempt to provide accurate statistics and numbers to work with. As part of their investigation, individual agricultural land transactions from 1994 to [...]


The grim reality and probable effects of climate change, and especially if it was still disputed, started to be felt by everyone in the sector and most profoundly by the beneficiaries Casidra supports through the agriculture programmes the company implements. The drought conditions in the Western Cape province continue to place a damper on the agriculture sector in the province. Records confirmed that the current drought is the worst the region experienced in over 100 years. While measures are [...]


Casidra SOC Ltd obtained its 28th Unqualified Report for the 2016/17 financial year to maintain its outstanding clean record during the company’s Annual General Meeting held on the 28th of August 2017.  The Board of Directors and Minister Alan Winde extended their vote of thanks to the Management team and staff of Casidra for their hard work.  Casidra’s newly elected vice-chairperson of the Board, Ainsley Moos, officially handed the approved Annual Report 2016/17 on behalf of new chairperson, Dr Leonie Coetzee, to Minister Winde. [...]


The Western Cape has been officially confirmed as the country’s Top Province in the 2015/16 provincial and local audit outcomes during a ceremony held on Monday, 10 April 2017 where deserving provincial and municipal departments as well as entities were awarded by representatives (Mr Solly Segooa and Ms Sharonne Adams) of the Auditor-General of SA. The Province also achieved clean audits for 12 of its 13 departments. A total of 23 out of 30 Western Cape municipalities were also awarded clean [...]


The Standing Committees on Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Economic Opportunities, Tourism and Agriculture, Human Settlements, Finance, Local Government and Transport and Public Works had a Joint Provincial Visit Week (16 – 19 May 2017) of the Service Delivery Cluster. This Joint Visit Week was a key mechanism established by the Western Cape Provincial Parliament (WCPP) to achieve its Constitutional oversight mandate within the Province. It was intended to ensure that members of the Provincial Parliament, through its Standing [...]


Casidra’s Board Members and Management Team visited the following projects in the Kannaland region on 27 and 28 June 2017 to give the Board an insight and glimpse of the challenges experienced within projects. The first project to be visited was Amalienstein and the Board was overwhelmed by the dedicated staff who shared the challenges experienced on the farm.   Amalienstein is a non-profitable farm with a relatively small of the dairy, high overhead costs as a result of the [...]


EROSION PROTECTION STRUCTURES IN BRANDWACHT RIVER Casidra is implementing a R24 million project to construct 27 gabion groynes over a stretch of 3 kilometers, which includes landscaping and planting along the Brandwacht River near Brandwacht.  This is a Western Cape Department of Agriculture project and is situated in the vicinity of Ruitersbos between Mossel Bay and Kleinbrak, and the work is part of the Disaster Management Programme. It will continue to be in the construction phase and is expected [...]

Environmental Impact Assessment Section 24G

An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is a legal requirement that necessitates an investigation into the potential impact planned activities may have on the environment in which they are to be effected. This process culminates into either the issuance of environmental authorisation for those activities and/or waste license. These investigations can take the form of either a Basic Assessment (BA) or a full scoping and EIA.   The Minister of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEADP), has prescribed in [...]

LREAD Perspective August 2017

Talking is better than fighting Why is talking better than fighting?  I used Google and came across the following insightful quote: “Discussions are always better than arguments, because an argument is always about who is right, and a discussion is to find out what is right”. This quote holds much truth for our land reform journey in South Africa. We seem to spend a lot of energy on framing role players as being on the right side or the [...]

LREAD Perspective May 2017

Sharing is caring The Nampo agricultural show, which took place in May in Bothaville, is one of the highlights on the South African agricultural calendar. First time attendees are always blown away by the scale of this event. The show attracted 78 648 visitors and 700 exhibitors this year.  It is also the place to come up close with the latest in farming technology. This year saw Senzeni Zokwana, South African Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, posing on the [...]

LREAD Perspective June 2017

Cyril Ramaphosa Earlier in June I travelled to the Koue Bokkeveld to an event where Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, was the guest speaker. True to the area’s name, it was a bitterly cold evening, with outside temperatures dropping to 5 Degrees Celsius on the Gydo pass, on route to the venue! The event was hosted by the Witzenberg Partnerships in Agri Land Solutions (PALS). PALS is a private sector initiate which coordinates and supports transformation projects in the Witzenberg [...]


For Casidra the 2017 year started on the back of another clean audit, the 27th in a row, and with staff returning from a well-deserved break from work, during December 2016. The year started with a frantic pace with numerous projects that were supplied with goods and services when suppliers started opening their businesses for the New Year. The holiday soon felt like a memory of long ago as the pace intensified. THE DROUGHT The drought that gripped the [...]


Casidra has reached the final stage of equipping 1300 beneficiaries with on-the-job-experience/training after placing them in provincial schools on behalf of the Western Cape Department of Education and the Jobs Fund during the past year. The full job assessment training was conducted for a number of days for the beneficiaries from Mitchell’s Plain, Khayelitsha, Atlantis, Worcester, etc.  The assessments covered basic training, which includes introduction to the programme, life skills and job readiness. The purpose of this exercise [...]


Casidra presented a financial training course to the staff of the West Coast Business Development Centre (WCBDC) in Saldanha Bay on the 1st of December 2016. Thirteen candidates, representing ten different businesses and the WCBDC, attended this training. The aim of this training was to equip the attendees with financial skills in order to manage their small/medium businesses.  The content of the course was designed around the following topics, namely introduction into entrepreneurship and the challenges faced by entrepreneurs; financial [...]


The Olieboomskraal Project consists of seven small farmers from Slangrivier who lease 233 hectares of the Slangrivier commonage. In 2015/16, these farmers were funded by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture through the Grain CPAC to clear the overgrown fields and to plant wheat. A small percentage of the income was distributed to the farmers and the bulk will remain in their bank account at Sentraal-Suid Co-operative,  which will be used to establish canola in 2017. Furthermore, an application [...]


Casidra successfully completed the facilities’ upgrade of CapeNature’s Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve for tourism purposes.  Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve is located in the heart of the Little Karoo 15km south of Robertson on the McGregor road in the Breede River Valley region.  It is ideal for mid-week and weekend getaways and offers a range of tourism activities and products which includes self-catering accommodation, bike trails, bird watching, brail trail, fly fishing, tennis court, interpretation centre, shaded picnic sites and walking and [...]


Casidra continues to implement rainwater tanks for food production on behalf of the Department of Water and Sanitation and Breede-Gouritz Catchment Management Agency.These rainwater tanks have become a dire need in the current drought situation whereby every drop counts.  This initiative aims to ensure the availability and supply of water as well as equitable and efficient provision of water services at local level and promote sustainable forest management. Water is life and all citizens are entitled to access [...]

LREAD Perspective April 2017

Counting Transformation. April 2017 saw the appointment of a Service Provider by the LREAD to establish a Baseline of black land ownership for Western Cape. The need for such a baseline has already been voiced in 2014 during the Provincial Land Reform Summit, an initiative of Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde, where he identified land reform, or the lack thereof, as a real risk to the provincial economy. It logically flows from this that it [...]

LREAD Perspective March 2017

Unintended Consequences Gugile Nkwinti, Minister of Land Reform and Rural Development, announced the Regulation of Agricultural Land Holdings Bill earlier in March this year. The Bill is now open for comments from interested parties after which it will be presented to Parliament for promulgation as an Act. If successful in its current form, this Bill holds the potential to fundamentally alter the manner in which we look and think about land ownership in South Africa.  Amongst other things, [...]


Kraalbos Mankind has used natural medicines for centuries to cure different ailments. Before the advent of modern pharmaceutical technology, which resulted in the commercial manufacture of pharmaceutical drugs, doctors had to rely on natural techniques and herbal remedies to treat illnesses or heal injuries of their patients. Everything from the common cold to life-threatening conditions such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease have been purported to be successfully treated without the use of current pharmaceutical medical equipment and pharmaceutical [...]

LREAD Perspective February 2017

Making sense of land reform in 2017 after the State of the Nation Address and Budget Speech. During February 2017, we were offered 3 important perspectives from 3 prominent political leaders in South Africa on what the future might hold for our land reform project: The State of the Nation Address by President Zuma on the 9th of February. Subsequent statements from Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Gugile Nkwinti. The Budget Address by Finance Minister Pravin [...]

LREAD Perspective January 2017

Land reform crystal ball for the year ahead A new year with new challenges and opportunities awaits us as 2017 got underway this past January. Land reform issues already surfaced. President Zuma used his final official message of 2016 to speak about land reform. President Zuma called for “decisive action” and “meaningful progress” on land reform and restitution in 2017. President Zuma also mentioned the possibility of using expropriation as a tool in fast tracking land reform, with the [...]

LREAD Land reform perspective – October 2016

I recently attended the ten year anniversary of the Agri Dwala project outside of Napier in the Southern Cape. For those of us working full time in land reform and the developmental agricultural sector, it is always a welcome relief and energising experience to interact with a project that keeps on delivering positive results. Agri Dwala is the brain child of Kosie van Zyl, a local farmer, and Piet Blom, an agricultural technical advisor, who saw the opportunity and the [...]

LREAD – Land Reform perspective – September 2016

(The views expressed in this article are not necessarily of Casidra) Earlier this month I came upon a short news article on the BBC’s website: “North Yorkshire farmer takes on 900-hectare 'dream' job”. The article describes the joy of 28 year old Mr Jonathan Grayshon, from Dacre in Nidderdale in North Yorkshire, after learning that he was selected to farm on the Humberstone Bank Farm. The land owner, Mr Yorkshire Water, needed to find a new manager after the previous [...]


The rolling out of the Western Cape Schools Support Programme continues to bear fruit.  The implementation agency of choice, Casidra, reported that thus far, approximately 1300 beneficiaries have been placed in the various schools across the Western Cape Province. According to Casidra’s Senior Project Manager, Leon Faro, these beneficiaries are coping extremely well and there are no red flags reported besides positive feedback from various school principals and other stakeholders. Faro said, “We strive to pay stipends to the [...]


Casidra has completed the implementation of 20 unit horse stables for the Makwena Family Trust project situated in Beaufort West in the Central Karoo.  Makwena Family Trust is a smallholder farm and was acquired by three beneficiaries through the  Land Reform Agricultural Development Programme.  This project is approximately three hectares in size and breeds horses.  Currently there are about 20 horses on the farm that  are used to teach the local children horse riding skills.  The farm also produces [...]


The Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA), Casidra and other partners recently put back smiles and happiness on the faces of the Murraysburg community. The Rooidam, consisting of two dams, is currently being restored and the irrigation furrow system repaired.  The primary aim of the dams was to supply the town with irrigation water, water that was distributed from higher up from the Buffelsrivier to serve as irrigation water for the numerous vegetable gardens that flourished at the time [...]


The Booysen tunnel farming project is situated on the Kraaifontein Avon-De-Rust farm owned by a retired farmer. This project initially started in 2013 and is leasing one hectare of land to a 27 year old vibrant farmer, Byron Booysen and his mother and sister.    Booysen developed an interest in farming at an early age while he was growing up in the Eastern Cape.  When his family moved to the Western Cape, Booysen studied Sports Science. After completing his studies, Booysen [...]


Casidra did it again for the 27th time with an unqualified audit report to prove good governance during the company’s Annual General Meeting held on 30 August 2016 at its Head Office. Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde, congratulated Casidra for what he described as staying relevant in the industry.  He said that it is always good to work with the company that always have some positive news and less risks.  Minister Winde says that Casidra must continue to do what [...]


The 2016/17 financial year started in the midst of the gripping drought that covers many parts of the province, and continues to place a burden on agriculture and food security in general.  The drought experienced in most parts of the country has proven challenging for many producers, especially along the West Coast of the Western Cape. A support scheme instituted by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) and further augmented with financial support from Agri Western Cape provided [...]


  CASIDRA IN JAPAN FOR JICA KNOWLEDGE CO-CREATION PROGRAMME Casidra was awarded a scholarship and was able to send its Senior Project Manager for Agriculture, Gerrit van Schalkwyk, to Japan earlier this year (from 11 January 2016 until 13 February 2016) to participate in the Knowledge Co-Creation Programme facilitated by the Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA). Van Schalkwyk was privileged to leave Cape Town on the 6th January 2016 to join other successful candidates in Johannesburg before departing for [...]


LAND REFORM ADVISORY DESK FACILITATES DONATION TO WITZENBERG PALS The newly established LREAD recently facilitated a donation of R90 000 to the Witzenberg Partnership in Agri Land Solutions (PALS). This donation cements a working relationship between the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and PALS, and it is foreseen that the LREAD will play a pivotal role in facilitating and supporting this initiative. PALS is a unique initiative in the Western Cape Province. Farmers and agricultural businesses in the Witzenberg [...]


  GREEN HARVEST PROJECT DEMONSTRATES GREAT POTENTIAL FOR SUCCESS Green Harvest is a successful project situated on the Kraaifontein Avon-De-Rust farm owned, by a retired farmer. The farm owner allocated a seven hectare piece of land, which he leases to Vulindlela May and his wife who are very keen farmers. This couple grew up on the farm and have an excellent agricultural background. Both of them are now the proud owners/beneficiaries of the Green Harvest project, which was established [...]


  HIGH VEG ORGANICS CO-OP LTD The High Veg Organics Co-op Ltd project belongs to a group of five members (two males and three females) as beneficiaries. This is a two hectare vegetable farming project with seven tunnels located in Robertson (Cape Winelands District Municipality). The project has been farming with basil, mint, wild rocket, parsley, coriander and their hydroponic tunnels. The director of High Veg Organics Co-op Ltd project is a 49 year old lady, Elizabeth Kleynhans, [...]


CASIDRA DELIVERS SCHOOL FURNITURE ON TIME SanParks, together with the Department of Environmental Affairs’ Natural Resource Management Programme (NRMP) Unit, is developing furniture factories with the aim of providing school desks/furniture for Government Departments and SanPark facilities. As the implementation agent for the Eco-furniture Factory Programme, SanParks is expected to procure raw material for various factories. Casidra has been appointed to oversee the procurement of these raw materials. Two bids were advertised in order to procure kiln-dried sawmill [...]


  FARM WORKER DEVELOPMENT PROJECT UNLEASHES THE POTENTIAL OF BENEFICIARIES The Farm Worker Development project is an initiative by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA). The Western Cape has approximately 142 000 farm workers and is home to almost a quarter of the farm workers in the country.Farm Workers and their family members are generally isolated from the mainstream social interaction and do not have regular access to life skills training and, in most cases, lack awareness of [...]


WESTERN CAPE SCHOOLS’ SUPPORT PROGRAMME The Western Cape Government (WCG), through the Western Cape Department of Local Government (WCDLG) successfully applied for the Jobs Fund for grant funding of R99 563 000 million. This is to implement the Western Cape Schools’ Support Programme in collaboration with the Western Cape Education Department (WCED). This programme is aimed at providing skills development to 9936 unemployed matriculants, between the ages 18 to 25 and employment opportunities to 2982. The project will [...]


THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER’S DESK The last quarter of the financial year is normally full of activity with projects being finalised before the planting season draws to a close in autumn. This sometimes pose challenges with the procurement and supply of products due to many suppliers slowly returning to work after taking a break during the holiday period. This year, the process for suppliers to come into full production capacity was further aggravated by the gripping drought that [...]

Draft AgriBEE sector codes – BEE Measurement

The Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA), through the UTA, has sought the services of an external service provider for BEE measurement and verification for select Comprehensive Assistance Support Programme (CASP) funding applicants. This data will enable the WCDoA to have a very good sense of how much “real” empowerment has taken place in these different projects that have previously been supported, or may be applying for support. The service provider will apply the stipulations of the new AgriBEE [...]

The Haarlem Honeybush Nursery

  In 2014, the UTA was requested to assist a struggling Honeybush Tea nursery in the Haarlem area with a business plan. The purpose of the business plan was to help the nursery to request for funding for the re-establishment of its nursery as it was in a dilapidated state as can be seen below in Figure 1 below Figure 1: Haarlem Nursery before   Honey bush is endemic to South Africa and only grows in specific [...]

Projects completed in the last quarter

Mankapan Farm – Water Use License Application (WULA) Doringbay Abalone – Shareholder’s Verification ERF 2 – Borehole Assessment (Test) Dwarstrek Farm – Soil Potential Survey & Land Survey W.H Williams & Sons – Liquidity Assessment Kykoe Farm – Borehole Assessment (Test) Half Oak Farm – Shareholder’s Verification Agri-Jobs Fund – Jobs Fund Application Grant Master Plan – Business Plan Agri Parks Business Plans – Reviewing Business Plans M’hudi Farm – Soil Potential Survey Waveren Farm – Borehole Assessment [...]

Regional Office and Farms’ Year-end Celebrations

The saying goes “a picture is worth a thousand words” and the year-end photos prove that our staff at the Regional Office and Amalienstein, Waaikraal and Anhalt farms had fantastic year-end functions. Regional Office enjoyed their outing on the 15th December 2015 at the Tenpin Bowling alley in George with a competitive and teasing spirit amongst their staff, all three farm managers, as well as Head Office represented by our CEO, Michael Brinkhuis and Chief Operations Officer, Kobus [...]


The latter half of 2015 (July until December) saw Casidra, an implementing agency for the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA), channelling its capacity to manage the Disaster Management Programme in the Province on behalf of the WCDoA. Casidra’s role in the project was to act as the engineer to manage the contract administration using the General Conditions for Construction for Civil Works. The WCDoA’s resident engineer played a significant role in providing the necessary support on site. [...]


The Akkedisberg farming project is a Smallholder Wine Project located on the Raka Wine Estate outside Caledon. The project consists of 20 beneficiaries, the majority of whom are employed at the Raka Wine Estate, and is 100% black owned. The farming project is led by Mariette Moos as one of its directors. Moos has acquired solid knowledge in wine grapes’ production throughout her working experience in the wine producing industry. The aim of the project is to empower [...]


Casidra worked extremely well with the Western Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) to roll out the Junior LandCare (JLC) Programme, which is aimed at providing grade 6 school learners with practical and educational lessons and the opportunity to unleash their innovative skills. The educational lessons were in accordance with the CAPS curriculum and are currently running in the Cape Winelands District and other districts. LandCare donated two indigenous trees to each school in the JLC School Programme. An art [...]


MPower Plastics (Pty) Ltd made history when it walked away with the 1st prize of R100 000 under the “Best Job Creation” category at the Western Cape Premier’s Entrepreneurship Recognition Awards (PERA) at a Gala event held at the Cape Sun Hotel on 19 November 2015. This achievement followed after Casidra’s Business Advisor, Donovan Stevens, entered this innovative company into the PERA competition. “The entry process was definitely not a walk in the park, but it was a [...]


Alexious Shoko, from Piket-bo-berg, was crowned as the Western Cape’s Farm Worker of the Year for 2015 during the gala ceremony in November 2015 at the Nederburg Wine Estate in Paarl. Shoko is the assistant production manager at the Mouton’s Valley farm, where he has worked for the past seven years, and has been described as dedicated and a leader in his community. “It’s the most amazing feeling ever”, said Alex Shoko when describing his win. Shoko says he [...]

Western Cape Commemorates Word Food Day

World Food Day is an international annual event that is celebrated globally on the 16th October. The Western Cape Department of Agriculture, Casidra and various other organisations/companies joined hands and took the lead in the province to commemorate the day in the small rural town of Pella (next to Atlantis in the West Coast region) on the 23rd October 2015. Pella is one of the 15 development nodes in the Western Cape. The theme for 2015’s commemoration was “Social [...]

CEO’s DESK Jan 2016

Our 2015 year-end function drew the curtain on yet another fast-paced year, which brought about many new developments. The theme ‘A Night at the Derby’ added particular glamour to the closing of the year, which at times felt like a hectic horse race where jockeys and horses alike had to perform their ultimate best in order to complete the races they were in. On the 27th November 2015, Casidra’s staff reflected on a successful year and joined by their [...]

The UTA completed the following projects during the last quarter:

Brakkekloof – Business Plan Chamomile Farm – Environmental Control Officer – Monitor and Control Construction phase Farm Worker Competition Evaluation – Impact Study Pomposkloof – Soil Potential Survey West Cape Apples – Feasibility Study Imbaza Mussels – Viability Assessment Esperanza Feedlot – Legal Inputs Central High School – Borehole Assessment David Jephta Farm – Borehole Assessment Ericaville – Business Plan MacMillan Farm – Evaluating grazing carrying capacity Anyskop Farm – Asset Verification Khoi-Klaas – Verify strategic partner’s contribution [...]

The newly established Land Reform Advisory Desk (LREAD) has a Project Manager

As from the 1st of November 2015, Wouter Kriel will be at the helm of the new LREAD as its Project Manager. Prior to this appointment, Wouter was a Stakeholder Relations and Land Reform Manager in the Western Cape Ministry of Agriculture, Economic Development and Tourism (now the Ministry of Economic Opportunities), where he was responsible for the management and co-ordination of the Minister’s Land Reform Strategies, and to develop relationships between government and the private sector stakeholders with [...]

UTA Success Story Thokozani Ovation

In 2013, the UTA assisted Thokozani to develop a business plan and restructuring of the new company (Thokozani Staff Holdings) that had just obtained majority shareholding in the Diemersfontein Group. The UTA business plan enabled Thokozani Staff Holdings to obtain funding through the Agri BEE Fund. Furthermore, in 2015, the UTA continued the support for Thokozani Staff Holdings in their quest to update the business plan in respect of the following:   Thokozani Staff Holdings (TSH) to become [...]


Blueberries are ranked as having one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruit ( 2015). Of the crops that can be grown in the Western Cape, blueberries fare among some of the least commonly grown, but probably of the most profitable whose growing conditions can be controlled under shade netting. They are a robust fruit that are as resilient in the different conditions as table grapes and can be safely shipped to any place in the world frozen, [...]


Caryn Classen, a student at CPUT, who recently completed her six months’ experiential training at Casidra, expressed her gratitude as follows; “As a student, it is always good to put theory into practice. Therefore, as a third year Office Management and Technology student I had the opportunity to do just that. I had to complete my six months’ experiential training at a company to gain experience within what we call “the real world”, which as we know is [...]


Martinique du Preez (19), a transplant athlete from the Haarlem Community in the Southern Cape, received assistance from the Haarlem Transformation Committee (HTC) and Casidra towards his sports gear.  This young man was one of 65 transplant athletes chosen to represent the South African Team at the Official World Transplant Games held in Mar del Plata, Argentina from 23-30 August 2015.   Casidra manages the apple farm Anhalt and some years ago Casidra’s Management approved the HTC’s [...]

UTA Explores New Product: Rabbit Farming

When one thinks of a rabbit, you think of a ‘bunny’. Instead, this should be viewed as a source of high protein and a niche market product that offers opportunities to new farmers who have limited access to land under intensive farming conditions. Previous attempts in South Africa at producing rabbit meat as a cheap source of protein have failed due to the costs involved in production. In Europe, rabbit meat is sought after and an everyday meat [...]


Freeheim Eggs is a chicken layer farm situated at Friemersheim in the Southern Cape region owned by three previously disadvantaged beneficiaries (one woman and two men). The farm is about 1875m² in size and consists of approximately 550 chickens that produce 100 eggs per day.  These beneficiaries identified the huge need for egg production on a small scale to sell eggs to the local community shops.  They aspire to increase their supply once the demand for eggs is [...]


WCB Boerdery is a table grape farm situated next to the small town of Saron in the Cape Winelands region  was established in 2012 by Warren Bam as the sole beneficiary.  The approximately 22 hectare farm had 13 hectares of table grapes newly cultivated at the beginning of 2013.  Approximately 9 hectares of organic table grapes in production are leased from the farm owner.   Bam is an experienced farmer and has been in this business for [...]


The African Roots Wine Trust is a wine farm situated in the heart of the Cape Winelands (Lynedoch in the Stellenbosch region).  It is the home of the Seven Sisters Wines that has been trading for more than five years.  The beneficiaries of the farm are seven sisters who all grew up in the small fishing village of Paternoster on the west coast.  This wine farming project is led by Vivian Kleynhans, the middle sister, who demonstrated an [...]


The Western Cape’s top female entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector were crowned  during a prestigious event on the 19 August 2015 by Minister Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities. This competition is a partnership between the National Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Provincial Departments of Agriculture.  It is now in its 16th year and seeks to honour the sector’s leading women.     When congratulating the winners, Minister Winde said, “It’s fitting that in [...]


Cape Agency for Sustainable Integrated Development in Rural Areas (Casidra) received its 26th unqualified audit to maintain a good standing financial and performance report status quo during the company’s Annual General Meeting held on 26 August 2015 at Head Office. Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde congratulated Casidra for what he described as maintaining its excellent status of good financial processes.  “Casidra has a good track record and has good financial systems in place for which it is well known.  [...]


Some new initiatives envisaged by the Western Cape government are now coming to fruition and are ready to be implemented. Amongst the most prominent is Project Khulisa. Project Khulisa is the concept through which the provincial government conducted an in-depth investigation of the areas and sectors, which need to be focused on, to bring about meaningful economic growth and job creation in the province. The ultimate aim  is to grow the Western Cape economy.  The outcome of the [...]

Rabbit Farming

A rabbit is not a “bunny” but need to be viewed as a high protein, niche market product that offers opportunities for new farmers with limited access to land under intensive farming conditions. Previous attempts in South Africa at producing rabbit meat as a cheap protein has failed due to the costs involved in production. In Europe rabbit meat is sought after and an everyday meat in most homes. The export market is available, but need high volumes to [...]

Hopefield and Cape Metro Business and Entrepreneurship Training

The Unit for Technical Assistance (UTA) was requested by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) to appoint a Facilitator to conduct Business Management and Group Dynamics training for farmers in Hopefield and Cape Metro’s, Kraaifontein area. The aim for the Cape Metro training was to create a conducive environment under which all groups can work cohesively, as they are leasing farm portions from the same farmer. The group was constituted of 2 private companies and 1 cooperative. [...]

UTA Projects (requests) completed in the 1st quarter

Kliprivier Kleinboere Trust – Legal Opinion Matjiesrivier Dairy – Feasibility Study Howard Barend Honeybush – Resources Assessment Alternative Food Study in the Western- Cape – Special Request (Tender) Evaluation of the Food Security Programme – Special Request (Tender) Slangrivier Saambouboer – Financial Viability Study Hopefield Abattoir Group – Training (Special request) Ravensmead Farm – Suitability Study Metro Group – Training (Special request) Dwarsberg Farm – Resource Assessment Baviaanskloof Trust – Legal opinion Honeybush Tea Nursery – Business Plan [...]


Casidra bid farewell to one its long-serving Board members, Prof. Julian Smith on the 12th March 2015 at Laborie’s Harvest restaurant in Paarl. Prof. Smith started serving as a Board member way back in 2002. During this time, he served and provided his invaluable leadership expertise within various Board committees, and was the chairperson of the Remuneration Committee for numerous years until his resignation as a Board member in November 2014. In his farewell message, Advocate Gary Oliver, [...]


Land Reform Evaluation Report for the Western Cape summarised below The Unit for Technical Assistance in Casidra was requested to conduct an evaluation of the Land Reform Programme in the Western Cape Province. The purpose of the evaluation was to determine the rate of success and based on a sample taken from 246 agricultural land reform projects supported by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) from 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2013 through the Comprehensive Agricultural [...]

Food Garden Competition Award for Southern Cape beneficiaries

In February 2015, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDOA), with assistance from Casidra, organised the Food Garden Competition in Karatara for the Southern Cape residents who are taking the lead in food security. The intention of this competition was to award those beneficiaries who carried the food garden initiative successfully after receiving support from the WCDoA. This follows after the WCDoA, along with other stakeholders, handed over food gardens to residents in the area in 2013. The [...]

Western Cape Government establishes Land Reform Advisory Desk

The Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde, announced the newly-established Land Reform Advisory Desk (LREAD), based at Casidra's head office in Paarl (an implementing agency for the Western Cape Department of Agriculture), to expedite transformation in the province's agricultural sector. The LREAD’s vision is to address the inequitable distribution of land to accomplish integration of the rural areas into the mainstream economy of the Western Cape. Minister Winde said, "Speeding up land reform is one of my foremost priorities. [...]

Rural Nodal Development Co-operative and SMME Support Programme

Casidra has been successfully unleashing the potential of entrepreneurs who are dreaming big across the Province to change their lives through the Rural Nodal Development Co-operative and SMME Support Programme. This is a programme of the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, which was established to afford local businesses an opportunity to access low-cost finance to become self- sustainable. Businesses have an opportunity to apply for finance ranging from R0 to R100 000 through Casidra who, in turn, will [...]


The Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) and its implementing agency, Casidra, continue to roll out the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP) successfully to the poor communities within the Province. Since the inception of the CASP Programme more than 10 years ago, we have seen a rapid growth in terms of the number of farmers who have benefitted from CASP funding in the Western Cape. From January until March this year, the following projects were selected, and successfully implemented [...]

Jackalskraal receives new Chalets

Another great highlight was the unveiling of newly-built chalets for the Griqua’s Jackalskraal farm on Saturday, 28 March 2015. These chalets were made possible by Casidra’s efforts after sourcing funding from the National Lottery Board (NLB). Eventually, the NLB released this funding after extensive delays due to a lengthy process of heritage requirements. During the inception, Casidra identified an opportunity for the Kranshoek Griqua Community Trust (KGCT) to develop a cultural tourism project on the Jackalskraal community farm [...]


The community initiative project Stony Point Eco-Centre and restaurant (On-the-Edge) in Betty’s Bay was successfully launched on Friday, 10 April 2015. This project was funded by the National Department of Tourism as part of its Social Responsibility Programme, and implemented by Casidra. It is one of Casidra’s long-outstanding projects since the first Memorandum of Understanding was signed 10 years ago. The launch was well attended by high profile dignitaries, amongst whom were the National Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom; [...]


The 2015/16 Casidra year started off on a good note, but scurried along at a rapid pace. The onset of the New Year brought about the anticipation of starting the various initiatives that were devised at the close of the previous year. Amongst the most prominent was the newly crafted initiatives around Project Khulisa, which means ‘to grow’. This project is a Western Cape Provincial Government model that looks at means of growing the province’s economy and creating jobs. [...]

The UTA completed the following projects during the last quarter:

Alona Fresh Produce – Financial Viability Assessment Agri Jobs Fund – Coordinating jobs fund application process Nuutbegin Farm –Viability Study Enaleni Farm – Strategic & Financial Viability Study McGregor Small Scale Farmers – EIA Opinion (Screening) KK Poultry – Borehole Assessment Lease Agreements- DPAC– Reviewing lease agreements and providing legal opinion

New UTA Manager

As from the 1st of April 2015, Belvin Namoobe is the new UTA Project Manager. Prior to this appointment, Belvin was Casidra’s Business Advisor for the Cape Winelands, Overberg, and West Coast District areas under the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP). He holds a BCom Economics and Finance, Bcom (Honours), and an MSc Agricultural Economics from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Former University of Natal). Belvin has vast experience in business assistance to SMME enterprises, project plans and financing.

Understanding Lease Agreements

What is a contract of lease? This is an agreement between a Lessor (usually the owner) and a Lessee (or tenant) which allows the tenant to enjoy the property in return for the payment of rent (Paralegal Advice,, 2015). Understanding every clause contained in a lease is cardinal for you to know what the implications are for signing and what it will actually entail on your part. In as much as most leases have been standardised and would [...]

The UTA completed the following projects during the last quarter:

Nyanga Abattoir – Pre-feasibility Study Kraaibos Chicken Project – Dam Maintenance Plan Fynbos Vrugte en Wyn – Viability Study Bakoord Project – Legal Opinion on lease agreement Adam Freek Beekeeping – Business Plan Arya (Pty) Ltd– Pre-feasibility Study CRDP Dysselsdorp – Special Project – Evaluation AgriPlanner and Agri Forecast – Pilot Project evaluation Agulhas Vaardigheids Skool – Soil Survey Agulhas Flower Growers – Soil Survey Old Bethlehem Co-Op : EIA Opinion & Water Investigation Robertson Small Scale Farmers [...]

UTA Manager Resignation

  It is with great sadness that we announce the departure of the UTA Manager, Quinty Moroaswi, who recently accepted a new position at Old Mutual. Quinty will be leaving the services of Casidra on the 12th February 2015 to pursue another career. We wish her only the best with her future endeavours.  

Virgin Soil Matters

South Africa has a number of different sets of legislations that are designed to protect the environment that different sectors of the economy must adhere to. Just like the other sectors, the agricultural sector is not exempted from these legislations. There are a number of legislations that govern the agricultural sector, but for the purpose of this article only the legislations that farmers must adhere to if they want to develop virgin soil for agricultural purposes are discussed. [...]


  The year ended on a high note with Casidra’s 25 Years of Excellence celebration and staff year-end function held on 28 November 2014, which was well organised, attended and characterised by a good atmosphere and spirit. It drew the curtain for Casidra on an eventful year filled with new developments, such as the appointment of its new CEO and the new Executive Authority. The night offered ample time to reminisce and reflect on the past 25 years and [...]


Casidra shone at the 2014 National Productivity Awards Finalists Ceremony held at Emperor’s Palace in Johannesburg where it received an award as first runner-up for its outstanding achievement in productivity improvement in the “public sector category”. Casidra went up against four other institutions from various regions in the country. This achievement followed after Casidra received a Gold Award in the Public Sector category during the Western Cape Productivity Awards Finalist ceremony held at the Table Bay Hotel in [...]


Waaikraal shone brighter than the sun when the farm won the coveted award of ‘Best Emerging Seed Producer for 2014’ during the Klein Karoo Seed Production’s (KKSP) Gala ceremony held at the Queen’s Hotel in Oudtshoorn. This prestigious event was attended by most seed producers for KKSP, with Waaikraal’s farm manager, Jolian du Preez, amongst them. Du Preez received the award on behalf of Casidra who manages the farm on behalf of government. According to Casidra’s CEO, Michael Brinkhuis, [...]


Casidra hosted a prestigious event to celebrate its 25 years of existence during its year-end function on 28 November 2014 at Elsenburg College. The theme was ‘Casidra celebrating 25 Years of Excellence’. This event was well attended by high profile dignitaries and clients, role-players in rural development and the broader agricultural and economic development sectors as well as Casidra’s staff. Dignitaries who celebrated Casidra’s milestone included the Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde; the Chairperson of [...]

World Food Day commemorated in Suurbraak

The Western Cape Department of Agriculture, Swellendam Municipality, Casidra and various other stakeholders commemorated World Food Day on 16 October 2014 in the small village of Suurbraak where poverty is rife. World Food Day is an international day of action against hunger celebrated during the month of October. It has since then been observed by millions of people around the world who come together to declare their commitment to eradicate hunger in our lifetime. When it comes to [...]

Western Cape Farm Worker of the Year 2014

The Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) crowned its top Farm Worker of the Year for 2014 during their prestigious event held in Stellenbosch on 7 November 2014. This annual competition for Western Cape farm workers is hosted by the Department in conjunction with Shoprite. The event was attended by high profile dignitaries and approximately 700 farm workers and farmers across the Province. Michael Brinkhuis, Casidra’s CEO, was amongst the guests who attended the event. Prior to the [...]


“Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth My Word and believeth on Him that sent Me hath everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life” – John 54-26. Casidra is still in mourning after the death of Natalie Hoffmeester, who was a bookkeeper at our Regional Office in George. Natalie passed away after a long illness and will always be remembered for her dedication and hard work. Her valuable contribution for [...]

Land Reform Programme for the Western Cape

The UTA conducted an evaluation of the Land Reform programme in the Western Cape. The report is summarized below: The Unit for Technical Assistance was requested to conduct an evaluation of the Land Reform Programme in the Western Cape Province. The purpose of the evaluation was to determine the rate of success on a sample taken from 246 agricultural land reform projects supported by the Department of Agriculture from 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2013 through the Comprehensive [...]

Projects completed by the UTA in the 2nd quarter

Matzikama phase 2 – Feasibility Study Greenville Farm Estate – Water source determination Bonne Accord – Business plan development Dag & Nag – Water Source Development LS pig farming – Generic Lease Agreement African Roots – Pre-Feasibility Study Human Capital – Strategy Development Seasons’ Find – Environmental Impact Assessment Diagnostic & Design Evaluation of Service Needs of Different Farmer Categories Doebucks (Pty) Ltd – Viability Study.


UTA received the request on the 02 February 2013 to conduct borehole test to check the quality and capacity of the borehole for Alona Fresh Produce. Brain and Eleanor Swart are the only beneficiaries of this project. During the time when this request was put forth, the farmers were farming tomatoes in a tunnel that covered 3000m² and were envisaging to add an additional multispan greenhouse and olives in the product mix. The UTA conducted the borehole assessment through [...]


In our last quarterly newsletter, we discussed the viability of a low throughput abattoir that has the capacity to slaughter 6 units. This quarter, we discuss the viability of an abattoir with the capacity to slaughter 10 units per day. 10 Unit is equivalent to 10 cattle, 60 sheep/goats or 120 porkers. As mentioned in our previous quarter’s newsletter, the risks that are associated with the illegal/informal slaughtering of livestock are endless and dangerous to consumers and the environment, [...]


AMALIENSTEIN RECEIVES AWARD Casidra is proud to announce that Amalienstein’s Community Development facilitator, Liticha Fortuin, received recognition as runner-up in the Best Female Worker category during this year’s Female Entrepreneur of the Year award ceremony on the 15th August 2014 at Nelson’s Creek Estate. Fortuin received her award from Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities. Casidra congratulated Fortuin on this outstanding achievement! AMALIENSTEIN ONTVANG TOEKENNING Casidra is trots om aan te kondig dat Amalienstein se Gemeenskap Ontwikkeling [...]

Casidra makes school children’s dreams come true

Henry David Thoreau, born in 1817, an author, poet and political activist, said, "books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations". Casidra donated computers and furniture to the Crystal High School in Hanover Park a year ago. The school saw the need for valuable assets and set up a modern technological library for their learners. They invited various stakeholders to assist in developing the library and some former school’s learners [...]

Greenhouse Farming and Hydroponics: The solution to farming in a country with limited water resources?

South Africa is a country with limited water resources and where access to land is an issue. With these limitations in mind, a task team from Casidra recently undertook a viability study on Greenhouse Farming (with Hydroponics as the backbone of this farming method) to see if this farming method can overcome these limitations cost effectively. Greenhouse Farming entails farming under a cover, while Hydroponics is the philosophy to irrigate plants (normally by means of drippers) with nutrient [...]

St Boniface Primary School receives funding for food garden

The St Boniface Primary School in Molsvlei, with almost 600 learners, received support to develop a food garden. Molsveli is one of the areas that faces serious water challenges and depends on rain water to irrigate crops. Ten rainwater tanks and irrigation equipment were procured for the school by Casidra with the CASP funding received from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and two 3.5m x 15m Eco-tunnels were erected for the beneficiaries on site. The school currently has [...]

Worcester Trout Project Demonstrates Growth Potential

Worcester Trout is a smallholder black farmer project in Worcester, which has been in operation for more than five years. It is currently being implemented by Casidra and is expected to be completed by the end of September 2014. Frederick Pienaar, the project beneficiary, has created one permanent job. The project was funded by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture through its Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme. Casidra, as an implementing agency, managed to procure all the necessary deliverables for [...]

Ashton Small-Scale Farmers Trust

Ashton Small-Scale Farmers’ Trust is a livestock farming project that has goats, sheep and chickens and is situated in the Bonnievale area in the Cape Winelands. This successful project, with its high growth potential, plans to expand its livestock to cattle. During its inception, project had 147 beneficiaries, 80 are currently active. The WCDoA and Casidra contributed positively towards this project by assisting with the testing of five boreholes to determine the ground water quality and capacity, and the [...]

Seasons Find Chicken Abattoir

Seasons Find is a chicken abattoir project situated 2 km outside Hopefield in the West Coast region and is owned by two beneficiaries, Tyrone Poole and his wife. The project started way back in 2004 when it operated as a chicken abattoir for broilers. There has been excellent growth at this project since its inception, particularly in terms of job creation. Approximately 30 seasonal workers and 12 permanent workers were appointed at the project. The Western Cape [...]

Casidra – Gold Award Winner in Public Sector

Casidra walked away with a gold award during the Western Cape Regional Productivity awards’ ceremony held at the Table Bay Hotel, in the Waterfront on the 9th September 2014. The company won the Public Sector Category, in which competed with four other institutions. The awards were adjudged from four categories, namely, the Public Sector Category, Emerging Sector Category, Corporate Sector Category and Co–operative Category. The assessment criterion for these awards include productivity approach, results and impact, overcoming challenges [...]


Casidra continues to maintain its clean audit status after earning its 25th unqualified financial statements for the year ended 31 March 2014. This was confirmed by the External Auditors during Casidra’s Annual General Meeting before Adv. Gary Oliver, Chairperson, handed over the 2013/14 Annual Report to the Executive Authority, Minister Alan Winde. This is another excellent achievement for Casidra as a State-Owned Company, its Board, Management, staff and all external stakeholders. In his opening statement, Adv. Oliver said [...]

From the CEO’s desk

For Casidra, 2014 has been themed as the year of “Consolidation of Changes” after 2013 saw many internal organisational changes being initiated. Huge emphasis was placed on gearing the organisation through internal processes and organisational restructuring as well as aligning itself to effectively react to client needs. To this effect, a lot was done in the area of technological systems and staff realignment/re-assignment. A number of achievements have been reached and a few initiatives are progressing well and [...]


On the 14th of December 2012, the UTA received a request from the Table Grapes CPAC to conduct a soil classification and draw up a soil map for the Lushof Boerdery and WCB Farm. Although these farms are situated on the same premises, the management is different. Lushof Boerdery is a worker’s Trust and Mr. Warren Bam is part of it. He also have his own portion that measures 13.5 ha, that he is leasing from a neighboring [...]

Projects completed by the UTA in the 2nd quarter of 2014

Matzikama Packaging and Cooling facility - Feasibility study De Heuwel – Economic Viability Ebenhaezer Irrigation project - Specialist input to planning models Business Registration and guideline – Generic guideline document City of Cape Town Food System – Investigation and evaluation on food security Elim Renaissance - Peer review Stellenbosch Commonage – Environmental authorisation Multi-purpose packaging facility Dysselsdorp – Concept plans Land Reform Evaluation – Western Cape evaluation of land reform projects Boschendal Treasury Trust – Business Plan. [...]


The 1st of June is a very important date in the history of Casidra, as it will always be remembered as the first day when the company opened its doors in Paarl. This was way back in 1989 when the company was still known as LANOK. On the 2nd of June, Head Office staff gathered to celebrate its 25th anniversary. In his opening remarks, the CEO, Michael Brinkhuis, acknowledged the long-serving employees (Johan, Kobus, Freek and many others) for [...]


Doring Bay Abalone is an abalone farming project situated in Doring Bay in the West Coast region. It is an equity project that belongs to the emerging farmers/ beneficiaries who are the community representatives and own 60% shares. According to the commercial farm owner, Wayne Cooke, who has 40% shares in the project, he is happy to report that this project is maturing into a great abalone farm. He said “We have now been through one summer and [...]


Bergendal Workers’ Trust was established in 2006 as an equity project and has 32% shares in the Manenberg (Pty) Ltd farming business. This Workers’ Trust developed 12hectares of vineyard (wine grapes) on Oukraalvlei in the Piketberg region. A total number of 91 beneficiaries are supported from this project. One of the Manenberg Trustees, Potgieter van Zyl, acts as a mentor for this Workers’ Trust and is actively involved in farming with the workers on a daily basis. The Bergendal [...]


The Department of Water Affairs (DWA) appointed Casidra to implement the rainwater tanks for food production in the West Coast and Overberg regions. The Department of Water Affairs is the custodian of South Africa's water and forestry resources. Its aim is to ensure the availability and supply of water on a national level, ensure equitable and efficient provision of water services at local level and promote sustainable forest management. Meanwhile striving to ensure that all South Africans gain [...]


The Provincial Growth Fund continues to support a wide variety of business. The aim of the Fund is to support an enabling environment for businesses by providing financial support to innovative economic development projects that are aimed at assisting with the expansion and sustainability of a business grouping to minimum of two qualifying businesses. This Fund provides government support in the form of cost sharing with a maximum government contribution of 70%. This means that the 30% will be [...]