The agricultural network for family farmers Saai, and Santam worked together this year to provide more sustainable drought relief to farmers in the Eastern Cape. About 36 boreholes have been drilled in the Steytlerville area since May this year, of which 23 have successfully yielded water. The next step is to equip about 24 farmers in Willowmore with boreholes starting next week.
Despite the rains that have fallen in large parts of the country over the past month, the drought of the past few years is still plaguing the farmers of the Eastern Cape. Therefore, it is important for Saai and Santam to continue this drilling project to equip the farmers with the necessary water when the rain stays away again.
“Santam wants to be a responsible business and do more than just insurance. We have a responsibility to help build resilient societies and to help stimulate a vibrant agricultural sector for farmers. The agricultural industry faces many challenges and we want to show our appreciation to the sector with our contribution and support,” says Hanlie Kroese from Santam.
“Saai spent a lot of time in the Eastern Cape this year and constantly delivered feed and food parcels as well as made some videos to create awareness of these towns. These videos were not only to show how much these communities are suffering from the drought but also to show who the people of this area are and how incredibly special these towns are,” says Iné Bester, Operations Manager at Saai. “When our representative in the Eastern Cape, Bertus Griebenow, spoke to us about this project, we did not hesitate to get involved. No one knows when the rain will come again and in the meantime one must do everything in your power to prevent these farmers from suffering. At Saai we deeply care about every family farm.”
“Water has never been a problem on my farm, but in recent years the water table has dropped noticeably and some holes have dried up completely,” says Colin Wilken, a farmer from Steytlerville. “It was an absolute relief when Saai’s Bertus Griebenouw and Santam offered to help the farmers detect water and drill holes.”
The farmers expressed their gratitude to Saai, Santam, Bertus Griebenow, Hennie Nel (driller) and BKB.