iNkosi Zwelothando Mabandla, the family farmer network the Southern African Agri Initiative (Saai) and AfriForum this week started the next phase of the joint indigenous veld goat agricultural development project in the AmaBhele kaJamangile Kingdom near Maclear in the Eastern Cape. with the establishment of key infrastructure and a community safety engagement. Water infrastructure and a goat pen was erected and preliminary discussions was held on how community safety can be improved and stock theft can be curtailed through collaboration between the traditional leadership, community members and other stakeholders such as the SAPS and commercial farmers.
“Things are happening fast now, I am encouraged by the progress made and commitment shown by the team. I am hopeful that community safety will be improved and stock theft will be curtailed through the creation of a volunteer community safety structure and through collaboration with other stakeholders,” says iNkosi Zwelothando of the AmaBhele kaJamangile Traditional Community.
“Successful livestock farming is impossible if stock theft is not curtailed. We believe that the community safety engagement led by AfriForum’s Head of Community Safety, Raymond Hohls, and the subsequent implementation of a volunteer community safety plan will result in grass roots solutions that will lead to a reduction in stock theft,” says Barend Uys, Head of Intercultural Relations and Cooperation at AfriForum.
“Most families in the AmaBhele kaJamangile Kingdom depends on harvested rainwater, this precious water cannot be shared with animals. It is therefore extremely important to provide water from an alternative source to animals. We are satisfied that we have achieved just that and at the same time improved overall availability of water for this farming family,” says dr Theo de Jager, Executive Board Chairperson of Saai.
“The progress of this project serves as undeniable proof of the progress that is possible if cultural communities and other stakeholders collaborate based on mutual recognition and respect and a shared vision and values. We know that God will give us the strength to persevere and we will reap the fruits of our labour,” says iNkosazana Bhelekazi Mabandla, Head of Royal Diplomatic Services of the Jamangile kaMabandla Royal Family.
The delivery of the Mbuzi indigenous veld goat base herd of 20 ewes and a ram is planned for next month.