Author - Casidra

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 RECEIVES LANDCARE’s WATER CARE CAMPAIGN AWARD

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 (PTY) LTD

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...

NEW YEAR MESSAGE FROM THE CEO

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...

MESSAGE FROM THE CEO’S DESK – September 2017

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 OBTAINED ANOTHER UNQUALIFIED REPORT FOR 2016/2017

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....

CASIDRA RECEIVES RECOGNITION FOR 2015/16 CLEAN AUDIT

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...

PROVINCIAL PARLIAMENT STANDING COMMITTEES VISIT WEST COAST

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...

BOARD AND MANAGEMENT VISIT PROJECTS IN KANNALAND

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...

NEWS IN BRIEF: PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION HIGHLIGHTS

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 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...

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...

THE CEO’S 2017 ADDRESS

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...

FIRST INTAKE OF WESTERN CAPE SCHOOL SUPPORT PROGRAMME READY FOR JOB MARKET

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’S FINANCIAL TRAINING EMPOWER THE WCBDC

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...

OLIEBOOMSKRAAL PROJECT

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...

VROLIJKHEID NATURE RESERVE UPGRADED

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...

MORE RAINWATER HARVEST TANKS DELIVERED TO THE NEEDY

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

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...

WESTERN CAPE SCHOOLS’ SUPPORT PROGRAMME

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...

MAKWENA FAMILY TRUST’S HORSE STABLES UPGRADED

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 MURRAYSBURG ROOIDAM IS BEING RESTORED

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...

BOOYSEN TUNNEL FARMING PROJECT REACHES GREATER HEIGHTS

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

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...

FROM THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER’S DESK

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 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

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 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

  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

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

  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...