Former productive farms now derelict

Hemps

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#1
Government farms bought at a cost of R30-million for emerging black farmers in the Eastern Cape are lying in a state of forlorn abandonment.

Saturday Dispatch investigated four of the farms in Komga and Igoda and found they had gone from being working farms on purchase to being unproductive and derelict.


GROWN WILD: Hopewell dairy farm near Macleantown on the N6 was given to Cwayita Mboni, seen standing next to unused ploughing implements. Also, below, a dip tank for cattle is overgrown by shrubs
Pictures: RANDELL ROSKRUGE
Sources spoken to said the number of government farms in the province in this state was probably closer to 20.

The farms were bought by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) to create jobs and eradicate poverty.



But those seen by Saturday Dispatch are mostly derelict.

Many of these farms were working businesses, producing dairy products, crops (mostly maize) and beef for the market and for breeding.

The Saturday Dispatch team visited four of the farms worth R29.1-million in the Buffalo City Metro area. Three are dairy farms, while a fourth is a crop and livestock farm.

The farms visited have ploughing fields and grazing camps that are overgrown by grass and infested with black wattle.

We can reveal that:

lHopewell dairy farm, bought for R8.8-million, which had 188 dairy cattle in 2016 and produced more than 1000 litres of milk daily, is left with only 50 cattle today and produces less than 50 litres a day;

lEversley farm in Komga, bought for R5-million with more than 80 dairy cattle, is today left empty with nothing but vandalised farm implements;

lEchoing Hill farm outside East London, which was bought for R7.8-million, is left empty, with broken multi-million rand dairy farm equipment lying in an unused milking shed and;

lAn Igoda farm, Lands End farm, bought for R7.5-million, is disputed as the department is allegedly trying to allow a person who “does not qualify” to occupy the farm, while the person who applied is being told to occupy an empty portion of the same farm.

Most of the farmers who occupy these farms blame DRDLR for not having assisted them.

One of the farmers, Cwayita Mboni, of Hopewell dairy farm, says the department failed to listen to beneficiaries.

“We were thrown in the deep end to fail. This is a successful project that is killed by the department officials whose interest is in their salaries rather than what they are employed to do,” said Mboni.

She said cattle died because she had no start-up capital to buy feed to maintain them.

“When I reported this to the department, I was told to bring death certificates of the cattle for the department to believe me.

“This is hurting as we are accused of being held responsible for the farm’s dereliction.”

Nomajama Qamza and her partner received their farm, Echoing Hill, with 50 dairy cattle, in 2007 but today there are no cattle there.

“That farm never worked from day one.

“Government officials failed to mentor me to make the farm viable.

“There was no additional funds to boost us and instead we had huge electricity bills,” she said.

Zolisa Panyaza, of Komga, stays on Eversley farm where her in-laws are buried.

“We are dwellers here and we want to use this farm as the person who was given this farm left it vandalised,” said Panyaza.

In Igoda, Vusumzi Bobani has been fighting a battle to win a farm that was bought by the department for him. The farm, Land Ends, was bought for R7.5-million from a relocating farmer.

“One official even sent a state employee to come occupy this farm, though this person does not qualify and also never applied for any farm. I suspect that this person paid money to get this farm and that is corruption,” said Bobani.

The department was given an opportunity to respond to the allegations but failed to respond.

Eastern Cape chief director of DRDLR, Zukile Pityi, yesterday said they were in a meeting to discuss the farms but at the time of going to print, no response had been received from them.

The National African Farmers Union’s Eastern Cape president, Pumza Vitshima, said the emerging farmers had complained to them.

“We understand that there was R95-million set aside to assist farmers and none of these farmers received that support and cattle died and farms closed. Those who are still operating are using cash from their own pockets. These farmers zisengela ethungeni elivuzayo [are working in vain],” said Vitshima.

Janine Ristow, of Ruliv, the agricultural non-governmental organisation in East London, said they would gladly assist and mentor the farmers.

“We depend on funds and we’ve approached government for support but we got nothing.

“We can monitor and mentor the farmers until they are able to produce,” Ristowsaid.—
http://www.dispatchlive.co.za/featured/2018/04/14/former-productive-farms-now-derelict/
 

Devviem

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1,519
#3
Black people: We DEMAND land.

ANC Government : Ok, take this productive piece of farm! It got everything you need to become rich, the cattle, the tractor and instruments, all the technology! We the ANC give this land to you for FREE! VIVA, VIVA ANC!!!

Black People: Amandla! We got the land! Lets us celebrate and eat the meat from the cows!
few years later

Black People: Eish! Our land is useless now that we must work it ourselves!
We DEMAND money from the government!
We DEMAND government must come and farm this land for us! How can they just leave us like this???
We DEMAND food, water and electricity!
We DEMAND for the people, AMANDLA!
 

VooDooC

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315
#6
Anyone really surprised by this? But hey, free farms, free land, it will make us rich and give us dignity! We're all gonna ****ing starve, but hey at least we now have "dignity"
 

ForceFate

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9,012
#7
Black people: We DEMAND land.

ANC Government : Ok, take this productive piece of farm! It got everything you need to become rich, the cattle, the tractor and instruments, all the technology! We the ANC give this land to you for FREE! VIVA, VIVA ANC!!!

Black People
: Amandla! We got the land! Lets us celebrate and eat the meat from the cows!
few years later

Black People: Eish! Our land is useless now that we must work it ourselves!
We DEMAND money from the government!
We DEMAND government must come and farm this land for us! How can they just leave us like this???
We DEMAND food, water and electricity!
We DEMAND for the people, AMANDLA!
Yet, you refuse to be associated with wrongs of the past. Do you see what I did there?
 

Sollie

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1,054
#8
She said cattle died because she had no start-up capital to buy feed to maintain them.

“When I reported this to the department, I was told to bring death certificates of the cattle for the department to believe me.
:sick:
 

ponder

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70,148
#9
Just give whomever receives a farm R50m cash as well, this way they can source their own consultants, trainers & whatever else they need. Doubt it would help though.
 

BravoDrie

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Messages
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#10
She said cattle died because she had no start-up capital to buy feed to maintain them.

“When I reported this to the department, I was told to bring death certificates of the cattle for the department to believe me.
The lack of planning is brain breaking unbelievable. When the whole process was started, did nobody even think about where supplies comes from for running a farm, and that it is not a magical machine that requires no input?

What did they think? (Rhetorical question)
 

R13...

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#11
“We were thrown in the deep end to fail. This is a successful project that is killed by the department officials whose interest is in their salaries rather than what they are employed to do,” said Mboni.
This is unfortunately true. Government officials are only interest in reporting certain numbers and aren't willing or are unable to do the required follow throughs to see that these projects succeed. Sometimes even the selection of beneficiaries is riddled with irregularities and criminalizes to reward cronies and such. When the Sapekoe tea plantation started failing local government took it over to try save jobs but instead the local municipality allowed an official who just allowed her small time known criminal boyfriend to siphon off the funds in the name of managing the process. It of course failed and no one was held to account. Not that the tea plantation was a good thing to get in to begin with, globalisation and cheap teas from elsewhere in the world supported by slave like labour would have seen to its demise even without the risks of rising wages locally. Any idiot ought to have seen this and either re-purposed the land or invested in something more worthwhile.
 

cool_gi

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153
#13
The lack of planning is brain breaking unbelievable. When the whole process was started, did nobody even think about where supplies comes from for running a farm, and that it is not a magical machine that requires no input?

What did they think? (Rhetorical question)
huh!! aikona! what are you saying!!!

the cows, they eat grass. the grass grows for free. they drink the water that gets filled with rain.
everything is for free.
 

ɹǝuuᴉM

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Dec 6, 2015
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1,885
#14
Black people: We DEMAND land.

ANC Government : Ok, take this productive piece of farm! It got everything you need to become rich, the cattle, the tractor and instruments, all the technology! We the ANC give this land to you for FREE! VIVA, VIVA ANC!!!

Black People: Amandla! We got the land! Lets us celebrate and eat the meat from the cows!
few years later

Black People: Eish! Our land is useless now that we must work it ourselves!
We DEMAND money from the government!
We DEMAND government must come and farm this land for us! How can they just leave us like this???
We DEMAND food, water and electricity!
We DEMAND for the people, AMANDLA!
:D Are you not afraid of been called a racist by the comrades? Your are spot-on though.
 
Last edited:

Mila

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#15
This is so sad, but this is a clue to everyone saying that everyone can farm.

These were working farms. All they had to do was keep it going. Not start from nothing.
 

Temujin

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Apr 18, 2015
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#16
That farm never worked from day one.

“Government officials failed to mentor me to make the farm viable.

“There was no additional funds to boost us and instead we had huge electricity bills
Gets given fully functioning and profitable farm, govs fault its broken cos they didn't gief gold to pay bills:crylaugh:
 

Mila

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#18
This is unfortunately true. Government officials are only interest in reporting certain numbers and aren't willing or are unable to do the required follow throughs to see that these projects succeed. Sometimes even the selection of beneficiaries is riddled with irregularities and criminalizes to reward cronies and such. When the Sapekoe tea plantation started failing local government took it over to try save jobs but instead the local municipality allowed an official who just allowed her small time known criminal boyfriend to siphon off the funds in the name of managing the process. It of course failed and no one was held to account. Not that the tea plantation was a good thing to get in to begin with, globalisation and cheap teas from elsewhere in the world supported by slave like labour would have seen to its demise even without the risks of rising wages locally. Any idiot ought to have seen this and either re-purposed the land or invested in something more worthwhile.
The Tea farm was a hobby and they were warned that they will not become rich. They would be able to sustain the village and the Tea Garden but not much else.

Something about tea being regulated, my parents are from Tzaneen they explained how the whole thing works.
The guy that runs the trust is an Government Fat cat that being paid a very handsome amount every month and do not care that it ran broke and the village was pillaged. Some soccer player tried to intervene but also saw it for what it was. A hobby. It will not make you rich.
 

Mila

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#20
You can not base land distribution with out compensation on 5% Success.
If these farms were flourishing I would have been all for it.
But 95% of this is showing what a bad idea it is,

Not everybody can farm even if you worked on a farm for all of your life.
IF it was possible you would have at least kept it going.
 
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