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Multimillions for Ostrich Empowerment

18 February 2005

New Horizons for people of Kannaland.

Eleven excellent hay and ostrich production farms to the value of R53 million in the Ladismith/ Van Wyksdorp regions in the Little Karoo are being registered in the names of eleven upcoming commercial farmers. This includes implements and infrastructure worth a further R7 million. The project was initiated by Pieter Coetzee of Assegaay Bosch Ranch, one of the leading ostrich producers in the world. It is a direct consequence of Agenda Ladismith 2010 and Ostrivision of the South African Ostrich Business Chamber.

The businesses of five of the eleven producers are being operated as Moose Valley Farms (Pty.) Ltd., while the rest operate under the name of Beaver Creek Farms (Pty.) Ltd. These new participants to the ostrich industry are members of the KLEIN KAROO Cooperative in Oudtshoorn.

The previously disadvantaged newcomers hold 52% of the shares in the project, while the remaining 48% is represented by family involvement of the Coetzees. According to him the land had been sold at market-related prices on a commercial base. What is even more is the transactions was done in exactly the same way for the 9 previously disadvantaged farmers as for Pieter’s own two children, his daughter Misha and his son Peter Adam.

Farming these eleven farms will help feed some 100 breadwinners caring for approximately 500 family members. “This forms an integral part of the plans of Assegaay Bosch Ranch and the Agenda Ladismith 2010 to establish a golf estate and nature reserve as well, with shareholding by previously disadvantaged people in the Van Wyksdorp region,“ Pieter says. “In the end there will be about 2500 new job opportunities in the region as a result of the Integrated Development Plan for Kannaland, in collaboration with tourism.“

Executive Mayor of Kannaland, Counsellor. Magdalena Barry confirms: „This welcome injection for Kannaland will help alleviate poverty and improve the standard of living. This is the beginning of an exciting new life for Kannaland on its way to 2010 in collaboration with the business chambers, local and provincial government and our regional services council,“ she added.

“KLEIN KAROO Commerce and Mechanisation have made hay making equipment and other implements and accessories for the farms available at beneficial prices. The expertise and assistance of the Group will also promote sustainability,” according to Pieter. Financing of the project is done by the Assegaay Bosch Ranch and First Rand Bank, through its financing affiliate, Wesbank. Sustainability studies, statutory regulations and budgets for the projects were done by Kruger of Boshoff Visser Auditors free of charge, and the transfer of the farms was done by Barry and Mouton Attorneys in Ladismith at a minimal tariff .“

Executive Manager of the KLEIN KAROO Group, Kobus Goosen, says this comprehensive empowerment action is in the supplying region for slaughtering material to the ostrich capital of the world, is a result of the OstriBEE business for new entrants of the Ostrivision project. In this way job opportunities are established and alleviation of poverty brought about. We are excited that the ostrich industry is moving in the right direction with empowerment.

The advantaged producers are experienced people, of whom some have been part of the industry for seven generations. Pieter says: “They have contributed capital in the form f the sweat of their hard labour and are one and all fully aware of the responsibility they now have to pay the debt. The farms and feeding conditions in Kannaland are ideal for ostrich production. Full infrastructure and water supply from the Floriskraal Dam, through the Buffels River Water Consumers’ Association, are apt to make these enterprises capable of succeeding. The farmers are well qualified in basic farming skills and in the use of high-level technology such as laser ploughing practices to ensure cost-effective irrigation. With fine management and the necessary mentorship and advice from Pieter this project will be a huge success,” Kobus says.

Kobus added that KLEIN KAROO as a participant in many fields confirms its dedication to community involvement in, amongst others, the Dysseldorp Liquorice Project, feather sorting projects, various vegetable and tunnel cultivation projects and the Struisvogelstories drama of the Kango Ostrich Farm near Oudtshoorn.“I view this success story as the forerunner to various OstriBEE opportunities that directly addresses poverty..“

Source: South African Ostrich Business Chamber

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