MESSAGE FROM THE CEO’s DESKCasidra
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 study produced a set of “game changers” and the three areas with the most potential in the agriculture space are agri-processing, tourism and oil and gas.
Casidra was part of numerous planning sessions, workshops and “think-tanks” during the planning phases. In July 2015 the proposed “game changers” and associated enablers, which are crucial to provide a conducive environment to reach the targets of economic growth and job creation, were tabled and approved by cabinet.
Departmental officials in collaboration with various industry bodies are currently compiling implementation plans to provide the “road maps” and formulate the projects to achieve the ambitious goals of economic growth and job creation.
Casidra plays a vital role in the facilitation, management and implementation of projects on collaboration with the various commodity structures.
NEW COMMODITY PROJECT ALLOCATION COMMITTEE (CPAC) RESPONSIBILITIES
Confidence in the effective implementation of numerous CPACs including the Vegetable, Grape and Livestock, amongst others, resulted in Casidra being tasked by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) to implement two additional CPACs, namely the Grain as well as the Sheep and Wool with effect from August 2015.
PROJECTS IMPLEMENTED FOR DEA AND CAPENATURE
Casidra implemented an extensive Alien Clearing and Restoration project for the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA). This project, which started in 2013, resulted in the mechanical clearing of large areas along the Berg River bank that were overgrown with huge alien and invasive trees. Casidra contracted and facilitated the works required in predominantly compromising conditions and mostly in very close proximity to people, dwellings, farms and other private infrastructure. To date, in excess of 300 ha have been cleared along a stretch of 58km of the Berg River.
With a successful year behind us, Casidra and the DEA are discussing the follow-up work and extension of this environmentally important undertaking.
Casidra recently completed a project for CapeNature at their Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve where four freestanding buildings were refurbished and modified into guest accommodation for the Reserve’s visitors. The completed project was launched on 15 May 2015.
This followed shortly after the launch of the Eco Centre at the Stony Point Marine Reserve in April 2015, which was opened by Minister Derek Hanekom, National Minister of Environmental Affairs. The competent work and subsequent positive relationships that were fostered between Casidra and CapeNature created the conducive environment and confidence for the current discussions and implementation of new projects.
WELLNESS, TRAINING, TEAMBUILDING AND COMPANY STRUCTURE
The development of staff has always been a cornerstone of Casidra’s existence. Various training initiatives are implemented to hone the skills of staff. Skills programmes for this year include Customer Relations, Project Management, and Occupational Health and Safety Training, which are aimed at equipping staff to cope with the complexities encountered in their field of work.
Continuous improvement of credentials are also encouraged and individual staff members are at various stages of completing their formal qualifications.
An active approach to employee wellness also assisted Casidra in providing the link between physical and emotional wellbeing and general staff motivation and productivity. Wellness programmes conducted this year focused on motivation and productivity. Two teambuilding sessions were held in the last quarter and while presenting a good measure of fun, also brought about a stronger sense of belonging and ownership.
Meanwhile, an assessment of the organisational structure of the company was initiated to determine the most beneficial composition of functions to best serve our array of clients. An in-depth analysis through thorough consultation with all levels of employment and engagement with external stakeholders, such as Casidra’s principal client, the WCDoA, alongside subsequent workshops, resulted in a revised organisational framework, which allows for the grouping of similar functions and the smarter utilisation of skills within the organisation.