CHAIRMAN: BOARD OF DIRECTORS OFNCERA FARMS (PTY) LTD
DATE 21 JANUARY 2005
CREATION OF A SERVICE CENTRE
To request that the Board of Directors of Ncera Farms (Pty) Ltd to take note of the establishment of a service centre on Welcome Home farm as was approved by the Minister of Agriculture on 26 October 2004.
2.1 The land in question is State owned land and is approximately 3 102,9814ha in extent and is the remaining portion of the land purchased by the State for the Imidushane followers of Chief D.M. Jongilanga. On portions of this land farm dwellers were employed by the previous owners and to whom an undertaking was given by the Government to be either resettled elsewhere or to be given the opportunity to be gainfully employed on the same land. The portion of land used for the resettlement of the Imidusane community is in the region of 9000 ha and transferred in title during 1997. The remainder of the land taken up in Annexure A has been managed by Ncera Farms (Pty) Ltd to date.
2.2 During the time that the Company has administered the farm, through their management agent Ncera Agricultural Development Corporation (Pty) Ltd (NADC), a great number of services were and still are provided to the surrounding communities. In this respect there are no other organisations, which provide these services:
2.3 On the agricultural side, assistance with contract ploughing and land preparation, advice on soil conservation matters, advice on suitable crops for the area, (trials are being carried out on an ongoing basis) advice on crop and livestock pests and diseases, the remedies thereof, repairs to .agricultural machinery and equipment etc,
2.4 Many emerging farmers who enter into negotiations to purchase farms from commercial farmers, within the framework of the LRAD Program come to the Ncera Offices for assistance and advice in the preparation of business plans, presentations to the Land Bank and other financial institutions, also in such instances wherever it is necessary, valuation of the land is carried out by Ncera Agricultural Development Corporation (Pty) Ltd, who's Chairperson is a valuator in terms of section 6 (1) of the administration of Estates Act, 1965 (Act 66 of 1965). These services are carried out free of charge to the prospective farmers. This service is essential, as it has been found that many sellers inflate the value of their properties, consequently making it impossible for any new farmer to generate profit.
2.5 In the field of community development and training over the past few years many persons from the surrounding communities have successfully undergone training, and as a result many have been able to find employment and senior positions as a result of training received at Ncera and NADC. To date the following courses have been given, some in-house and when specialized instructors were necessary, by other organizations:
6 M Motivation courses
Literacy training instructors
Day care center teachers
Train the trainer courses
St Johns Ambulance and first aid courses
Milking machine operators
Tractor driver courses and license tests
Farm foreman courses
Implement maintenance and field settings
Management training etc.
Some of the above trained persons were utilized as instructors in the communities to give courses such as:
Basic first aid
Village health workers
Primary health care etc.
Other Training Courses given were:
Wire mesh fencing material ( making of)
Training in committee skills
Knitting and needlework
Cooking and catering
A number of these persons trained, are now holding positions with other organisations. They all agree that the training they received at Ncera/NADC was most influential in them attaining these positions.
2.6 At present there are at any given time, not less than 10 young post matriculates being given instruction on "LIFE SKILLS" daily. It was felt that school leavers from a rural background lacked the self-confidence and life skills necessary to compete in the job market in the urban areas and a course was devised to bridge this gap. The course includes a computer literacy course. These courses are such a success that young people from villages more than 10 kilometers distance are attending regularly. A number of graduates from this course have as a result managed to find employment and have expressed their appreciation. It must be stressed that to date these courses have been given gratis to the trainees, as it is felt that these young people are unemployed and do not have the financial means to improve their academic qualifications.
2.7 The Management Agent has purchased woodworking equipment and intends to start a course in woodworking using some of the abundant natural resources in the are such as, blue gum and wattle trees. Also negotiations are taking place with an organization that exports charcoal and training and the purchase of the necessary equipment for such a project are envisaged. Also envisaged is a course in home gardening and nursery work, training material and literature has been acquired. A basic course on Agriculture including soil conservation will be introduced. The Management Agent has compiled a practical handbook, which will be made available to local farmers to assist them in combating soil erosion.
2.8 Ncera Farms and Ncera Agricultural Development Corporation are regarded by the people in the area as a "One Stop Service Center" where they can come with all their problems. In this regard many of the office bearers from unions and organisations often seek assistance and advice from this office. There are no other such facilities in the area, and if the Company had to terminate its activities the detrimental effect on the community will be profound. The nearest training facility of any description is at least 35 kilometers away, and some of the services offered by the Company in may cases are not available at all within reasonable reach.
3.1 Discussions with stakeholders have been an ongoing process by the Company and its agents. During 2003 the Directorate: Farmer Settlement of the Department of Agriculture appointed consultants to submit recommendations for the facilitation and disposal of the land in question. The Board of Directors did not accept the recommendations of the Consultant and the Managing Agent was requested to investigate the possibility of the establishment of a service centre at Welcome Home farm and the settlement of emerging farmers on all other Ncera land.
3.2 CREATION OF A SERVICE CENTRE
3.2.1 The Minister of Agriculture, as the Executive Authority of the Public Entity, approved the creation of the service centre on 26'h October 2004
3.2.2 With the service centre in place the following services will be available to the farmers to be settled as well as to alt the neighbouring communities:
Agricultural extension services,
Land preparation, layout and contract ploughing
Training and advice on fresh produce production and marketing
Preparation of business plans and financial record keeping
Cost effective repairs and maintenance to agricultural machinery and equipment.
Animal improvement schemes, etc
And any other services as and when required.
3.2.3 Welcome Home Farm is situated at the most central part of the area and has traditionally been the center for the mentioned services. Welcome Home Farm has also maintained a nursery where trials have been carried out for alternative and economically viable crops and this has served a very useful purpose in assisting neighboring farmers. Training was given to young people as was mentioned. In addition to the above it is also envisaged to give training in mechanical, market and home gardening and animal husbandry basics; The Department of Agriculture donated eight personal computers, which will be deployed in the above regard. It will thus be necessary to centralise all activities, including equipment, at Welcome Home Farm.
3.2.4 The Infrastructure necessary for the creation of the Service Center is as follows:
Security fencing of the Service Centre
Building of a administration and training centre
Disposal of excess livestock
Retrenchment of surplus workers
Disposal of redundant and surplus equipment
Engineering and architectural drawings of proposed structures
Livestock handling facilities
Upgrading of certain existing structures
It is estimated that an additional amount of R1,5 million will be needed in this regard. The Department of Agriculture allocated an amount of R650 000 during the 2004/05 financial year to the Company and the balance of R 900 000 will be provided during the 2005/06 financial year.
3.3 IMMEDIATE PRIORITIES
(a) To select the top breeding animals in the Nguni Stud herd and to dispose of the surplus so that herd can be relocated to Welcome Home for the implementation of a stock improvement scheme.
At the same time the stock handling facilities must be established.
(b) The upgrading of the water reticulation should be expedited in order to be able to expand the nursery and to establish commercial crops in the shade houses and other available land. The Department of Agriculture indicated that the actual work should be finalised before the end of March 2005.
(c) All surplus equipment should be disposed' of and consideration be given first to the communities to be established to have the first option to purchase any surplus equipment.
(d) With regard to the Dairy Herd and the Braeside Dairy, it is recommended that a joint venture be initiated between the Imidushane tribe and a private enterprise and the milk cows and the equipment eventually be sold to such a group.
(e) Rocklands Store, which is at present being leased to a trader who is conducting business, should be offered to the lessee to purchase. The store is situated on land with separate title deeds and transfer will therefore thus not be a problem.
3.4 FURTHER TASKS
3.4.1 Further tasks to be undertaken, not necessarily by the Company, are:
These tasks should be undertaken by the Department of Agriculture and specifically its Directorate: Farmer Settlement.
3.4.2 In terms of the approval granted by the Minister of Agriculture, a new board must be appointed, Chief Jongilanga must visit the Bafokeng and a exit strategy must be developed. These tasks will be undertaken in due cause.
That the Board takes note of the creation of a service centre at Welcome Home farm as well as the further tasks spelt out in paragraph 3.4.
CHAIRPERSON: BOARD OF DIRECTORS
NCERA FARMS (PTY) LTD
1. Collectively known as Silverdale
Portion 2 Farm 865 9,8678ha
Remainder Farm 866 379,4980ha
Remainder Farm 867 642,8340ha
Portion 7 Farm 1025 51,3767ha
Portion 12 Farm 1025 78,7686ha
Portion 1 Farm 1240 156,1938ha
Portion 2 Farm 1023 172,0399ha
Farm 1022 611,9192ha
Portion 1 Farm 1297 332,6948ha
5. Collectively known as Flintham
Portion 8 Farm 1037 1,1833ha
Portion 9 Farm 1037 2,2662ha
Portion 3 Farm 1036 167,8612ha
6. Welcome Home
Remainder Farm 1045 257,2501 ha
7. Yellow Woods
Portion 2 Farm 1045 219,1094ha
8. Lillyvale and other small portions
Portion 8 Farm 1046 18,5203ha
Portion 4 Farm 1044 1,5667ha
Portion 3 Farm 1044 0,0314ha
Portion 1 Farm 1021 0,5968ha Rocklands Cash Store
TOTAL OF ALL LAND CURRENTLY KNOW AS NCERA: 3103.5782 HA
NCERA AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
Life skills Courses for 2004
1. The basics of:
Entrepreneurship continued: Presenting a business plan
Drawing up a constitution
Basic marketing plans
Leadership skills: Committee skills
Developing your personal skills
Basic computer skills
Introduction to: Windows
E-mail and Intranet
English for school learners: Conversation and introduction to reading books - small library)
Books have been donated for all the above groups and a small library formed at the office.
The entrepreneurship continued - was a request from some of the young people who are trying to enter the job creation area as a group. They have come up with some ideas but need to be trained, as they have no experience at all.
4.Needlework, cookery, arts and crafts
Can be given as and when required. Machines available for tuition.
In 2003 classes were given in all of the above. Every section studied was tested by giving those who attended a formal test. "In-house" certificates were given to those who reached a satisfactory standard. This does not apply to the Computer Programme. The classes were small but all who attended did so on a regular basis.
The material used for teaching was gathered from a series of books published by Business Day and Financial Mail with regard to Business and Financial Basics, from publications such as How to Start Your Own Business to planning my future career, several computer books as well as home learning programmes for schools. (Maskew Millar) based on the new Curriculum.
Use was also made of the Business Section of the Sunday Times and other relevant magazines etc..
The trainer is a qualified person and once the facilities are in place, suitably qualified additional trainers will be appointed.