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 the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Economic Development, Beverley Schäfer; the Chairperson of Casidra’s Board of Directors, Adv. Gary Oliver; Casidra’s former CEOs and many other officials from provincial government and other institutions in the Western Cape.

Casidra was established in 1989 as a Rural Development Company. Since its inception, the company has grown from strength to strength with numerous successful rural projects in its wake. It has succeeded in becoming a distinct project management company that alleviates poverty amongst rural communities in the Provinces of the Eastern, Northern and Western Cape and has made a huge impact in changing many people’s lives.

In his keynote speech, Casidra’s Executive Authority, Minister Alan Winde, said, “Being able to reflect on a 25-year history is an achievement in itself for any organisation, and I want to congratulate Casidra on this. What makes this reflection remarkable is that it looks back at a history full of changes and challenges. Casidra did not have it easy during this period of time, as there were times of uncertainty where the very existence of the organisation was at stake. I am grateful to have Casidra as a partner in our dedicated focus on the land and the people who till it. Your track record speaks for itself and I look forward to working with you as you embark on your next 25-year journey”.

The Chairperson of the Board and Accounting Authority, Adv. Oliver, shared his memorable moments and said that Casidra was called into existence as LANOK in the final years of the pre-1994 constitutional dispensation, but 20 of the 25 years of its existence have been within our present constitutional dispensation. “Casidra prides itself in its dedication to pursuing the ideals, values, goals and objectives of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996”, he said. Adv. Oliver thanked everyone who has contributed to Casidra’s success and all who have worked hard in achieving excellence. He concluded by acknowledging the first Chairperson of the company’s Board, Patrick McEnery, and everyone else who played a key role in the establishment of Casidra.

A Coffee Table Book was officially launched during the celebration, which highlights the company’s historical moments between 1989-2014. This book covers our historical background, highlights some of our past achievements and challenges, tracks our path over the years, showcases successes that were celebrated, shows transformation to a new millennium era and a view of the future. Adv. Oliver launched the book and presented a copy to Minister Winde.

Some of Casidra’s stalwarts who have seen and experienced the challenges that the company underwent during its existence included the programme director of the event, Freek van Zyl, Chief Financial Officer, and Kobus Oosthuizen, Chief Operations Officer, who entertained and amused guests by sharing some special memories and experiences over the years.

In closing, Michael Brinkhuis, the CEO of Casidra, extended his vote of thanks to all the distinguished guests and acknowledged the sponsors who contributed towards the success of the evening. Brinkhuis emphasised that Casidra has built a reputation for serving its clients with distinction, while at the same time meeting its expected project outcomes. “My sincere gratitude goes to all of you for making this celebration possible. I thank you for opening the door for us when we knocked. With our proven track record, dedicated staff, demonstrated systems and methodologies and a passion for the development of people, communities and businesses, Casidra will continue to search for willing partners to accomplish rural development”, he concluded.

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