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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 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...

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...

FREEHEIM EGGS FARM SHOWS GROWTH POTENTIAL

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 REACHES GREATER HEIGHTS

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...

AFRICAN ROOTS WINE TRUST’S SECRET FOR SUCCESS

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...

MINISTERIAL ACTIVITIES: TOP WOMEN IN AGRICULTURE CROWNED

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...

CASIDRA MAINTAINS STATUS QUO WITH CLEAN AUDIT REPORT

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. ...

MESSAGE FROM THE CEO’s DESK

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....

FAREWELL TO OUR BOARD MEMBER

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,...

UNIT FOR TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

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...

FIRST CLASS PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION

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...

STONY POINT-OFFICIAL LAUNCH: FROM WHALING STATION TO ECO-CENTRE AND RESTAURANT

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;...

MESSAGE FROM CEO’S DESK

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....

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, www.paralegaladvice.org.za, 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...

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....

MESSAGE FROM THE CEO’S DESK: 2015 INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF LIGHT

  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 RECEIVES FIRST RUNNER-UP

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...

BEST EMERGING SEED PRODUCER ACHIEVEMENT

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,...

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...

CASIDRA MOURNS THE DEATH OF ONE OF ITS STAFF MEMBER

“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...

UTA‘S SUCCESS STORY

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...