Author - Casidra

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.

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...

ONE HOME ONE GARDEN CAMPAIGN

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

WC RESEARCH DAIRIES DONATE MILK TO THE VULNERABLE

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

TO ALL BENEFICIARIES/CLIENTS AND SERVICE PROVIDERS

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

TRANSFORMATION IN THE TIME OF COVID-19

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

R10 MILLION IN FODDER SUPPORT

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

COVID-19 response plan for Witzenberg

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

MESSAGE FROM THE ACTING CEO’S DESK

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

THE COVID-19 LOCKDOWN REGULATIONS

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

EXPROPRIATION WITHOUT COMPENSATION

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

NEW HEAD OF AGRICULTURE FOR WESTERN CAPE

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

Anhalt hand over to the Haarlem Community

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

Trends in SA Agriculture

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

LREAD PERSPECTIVE- 2019 REFLECTION

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

A SOC setting the trend with unqualified audits since inception

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

CASIDRA DID IT AGAIN DURING ITS 30 YEARS OF EXISTENCE

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

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

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

The Western Cape Minister of Agriculture visits Casidra

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

The premier and his cabinet met the agriculture sector

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

Youth Development in Agriculture

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

Corporate Social Responsibility and Rural Development

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

Renewable Energy and Rural Opportunities

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

30 April 2019 – LAND REFORM ADVISORY DESK PERSPECTIVE

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

NEW SHAREHOLDER REPRESENTATIVE WELCOMED

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

World Food Day celebrated in Brandwacht

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

CASIDRA WELCOMES THE NEW CEO: ASHLEY SEYMOUR

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

Entrepreneurship in the Rural Areas: SMMEs and funding

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

Project Management in Rural Development

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

LREAD Perspective December 2018

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

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 (PTY) LTD LIVESTOCK FARM

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.

JUNIOR LANDCARE PROJECT TEACHES LEARNERS HOW TO SAVE WATER

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...

JJ LOVE WINE VINEYARD

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 VEGETABLE GARDEN PROJECT

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 FREE-RANGE EGG FARMING

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...

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...