On Saturday 12 June 2021, the National Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza and Western Cape Minister for Agriculture, Ivan Meyer, officially commissioned the Ebenhaeser Irrigation Scheme, West Coast District.

The commissioning of the Ebenhaeser Irrigation Scheme follows the successfully concluded 2020 Ebenhaeser land restitution claim.

In terms of the claim, the national and provincial government would ensure the revitalisation of the Ebenhaeser Irrigation Scheme and upgrade the off-farm irrigation infrastructure to ensure the on-farm viability of farming.

The National Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development  (DALRRD) took responsibility for upgrading the bulk water infrastructure of this irrigation scheme.  The Western Cape Department of Agriculture, in turn, accepted the responsibility for the on-farm development of allocated agricultural land for irrigation purposes.

According to Minister Didiza, the project is an excellent example of what can be achieved when the different spheres of government collaborate.

Didiza: “This is a great example of the National Government’s District Development Model where national, provincial and municipal spheres of government work together towards the development of the  community.”

Dr Ivan Meyer, who switched on the on-farm irrigation during the visit, said that the two spheres of government working together had benefited the farmers and community of Ebenhaeser.

“The Ebenhaeser Irrigation Scheme is the result of successful partnership and collaboration. Every farmer requires land and water security, and today we have delivered that,” said Meyer.

One hundred and fifty-three farmers now have access to irrigation water for their plots.  One such farmer is PT Hahn and he said “Water is life, this is what the scheme  means to the 153 farmers and the broader Ebenhaeser community.”

Casidra is an implementing company on behalf of the WCDoA for this irrigation scheme and will ensure that everything is roll-out timeously as planned.  Thusfar, there is a great progress on the ground and the project is on schedule.

Minister Meyer concludes: “The Ebenhaeser Irrigation Scheme brings about improved water security, greater sustainability, increased production and enhances market access opportunities. Ultimately it will lead to economic growth and more jobs being created in the region.”

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