From the CEO’s deskCasidra
For Casidra, 2014 has been themed as the year of “Consolidation of Changes” after 2013 saw many internal organisational changes being initiated.
Huge emphasis was placed on gearing the organisation through internal processes and organisational restructuring as well as aligning itself to effectively react to client needs. To this effect, a lot was done in the area of technological systems and staff realignment/re-assignment.
A number of achievements have been reached and a few initiatives are progressing well and nearing completion. Among the most notable is the progress towards the completion of the CASPER project. This interactive and integrated internet-based project management and financial system is anticipated to be completed by the end of September 2014 and will transform the way project implementers and stakeholders engage and interact with projects. It allows any stakeholder, with access to the internet, to access projects and track the progress of a project, but also to obtain performance information relating to the project. It is envisaged to start utilising the system in all earnestness to generate second quarter reports at the end of September 2014.
Video conferencing and an upgraded intranet are two other technological tools that have been installed and improved. These systems are aimed at enhancing communication between staff, especially between Head Office, the Regional Office and the farms.
The past quarter also saw the completion of the first Electronic Performance Management System (EPMDS) for Casidra staff. The EPMDS, administered by S-Cubed, was implemented for performance reviews across the organisation during this quarter.
Casidra continues to manage the Amalienstein, Waaikraal and Anhalt farms on contract on behalf of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA).
Anhalt produced an improved harvest this past season and increased its total production volumes from last year.
Waaikraal is about midway through its vegetable production season and prospects look promising to achieve a good harvest.
This year, Amalienstein saw the retirement of a stalwart, in the form of Paulina Davids, who retired on the 27th June 2014. Paulina served the farm and its community unselfishly for over five decades while employed at Amalienstein. Our best wishes accompany her.
Another accolade Amalienstein achieved this year was when Liticha Fortuin was awarded the Western Cape Female Entrepreneur of the Year 2014 Award. This is a just reward for a person who spares no time in serving her employer, colleagues and the broader community of Amalienstein, Zoar and surrounds with hard work, dedication and passion.
Casidra continues to maintain a good relationship with the WCDoA and serve its institutional funder with exemplary service.
The company also continues to explore opportunities with other departments, entities and corporates. Various potential projects are at different stages of negotiation and formulation with partners such as the Department of Water Affairs, Department of Rural Development and Land Reform as well as certain municipalities.
New and potential projects (in partnership with the WCDoA) on the horizon include the establishment of a Land Reform Transformation Unit as well as a potential Land Reform pilot project for the Western Cape province.
A personal highlight this quarter was the attendance of Minister Alan Winde at our Annual General Meeting (AGM) on the 26th August 2014. At this event, the Minister thanked Casidra’s staff for their hard work and contribution towards agriculture, but also encouraged everyone to strive for an even greater impact. The Minister was presented with Casidra’s 2013/14 Annual Report at the event.