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Author - Casidra

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 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...

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...

WESTERN CAPE SCHOOLS’ SUPPORT PROGRAMME

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 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...

RIVER STABILISATION WORKS

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....

AKKEDISBERG FARMING PROJECT

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...

JUNIOR LANDCARE SCHOOL PROGRAMME AWARD LEARNERS

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 ACHIEVES MILESTONE

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...

WESTERN CAPE’S TOP AGRICULTURAL EMPLOYEE ANNOUNCED

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

Blueberries are ranked as having one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruit (www.whfoods.org: 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,...

STUDENT’S GRATITUDE FOR EXPERIENTIAL TRAINING

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...

HAARLEM TRANSFORMATION COMMITTEE UNLEASHES TRANSPLANT ATHLETE’S DREAM

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...