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Limpopo Business 2021-22

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The 2021/22 edition of Limpopo Business is the 13th issue of this highly successful publication that, since its launch in 2007, has established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the Limpopo Province. Limpopo has been attracting significant investments in the mining sector in recent years and with commodity prices of certain minerals rising in response to demand in the renewable energy and automotive sector, mining houses are well-positioned to expand production even further. This journal carries messages of welcome to investors from the province’s Premier and the MEC for Economic Development, Environment and Tourism. In addition to the regular articles providing insight into each of the key economic sectors of the province, there is special feature on plans to catalyse investment and growth in the province through measures such as industrial parks and the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone in the province’s far north, which is attracting billions of dollars in investment. News related to mining, agriculture, tourism, construction and property, water, education and development finance is carried in overviews of the main economic sectors.

OVERVIEW Agriculture A

OVERVIEW Agriculture A huge packhouse will expand production and create jobs. One of South Africa’s biggest exporters is building a massive new packhouse about 40km north of Tzaneen. ZZ2, the agricultural company with operations in six South African provinces and Namibia, is making a major investment in expansion near the site where it all began, Mooketsi. The firm’s founder discovered that it was possible to plant and cultivate tomatoes throughout the year in the fertile Mooketsi valley and that is where an 11 200 m2 packhouse will come into operation early in 2023. ZZ2 now grows a large assortment of fruits including mangoes, onions, dates, cherries, apples, pears, stone fruit, almonds and blueberries. The intention is to gradually scale up volumes until the packhouse handles 70 000 tons per year, some of which product will be from other growers. The packhouse’s potential allows for a further 3 500ha of avocado plantings which could lead to the creation of 5 000 jobs. Three hardships were visited on Limpopo farmers in July 2021. In addition to the somewhat predictable extremes of weather in the form of frost and then sunburn, the tomato growers of South Africa’s northernmost province found the prices of their product 70% down as a result of the civil unrest that occurred in the provinces of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. According to FreshPlaza, tomato and pepper growers in Waterpoort were particularly badly hit by frost and a breeze which followed made the situation worse. Cotton growing is experiencing a renewal in the province. The Limpopo Provincial Government’s programme for revitalising irrigation schemes is helping. In Ephraim Mogale Municipality about 345 hectares of cotton has been planted which will benefit 74 small-scale farmers in the area. The projected harvest is 522 tons and an estimated 300 seasonal jobs are expected to be created during the harvesting period. Ephraim Mogale Local Municipality, which forms part of the Sekhukhune District Municipality, calls itself the “Agricultural hub of choice”. The Olifants River (also known as the Lepelle River) supports varied and intensive citrus, grape, cotton and vegetable cultivation, much of which is transported to the markets of the denselypopulated areas to the west in Gauteng. The Joburg Market and the Tshwane Fresh Produce Market are the primary destinations of the municipality’s products. Cattle ownership is common among subsistence farmers. SECTOR INSIGHT Vleischboom has a new Farmer Production Support Unit. Marble Hall, where the South African Cotton Ginners Association (SACGA) has its headquarters, is the principal town in the municipality. Other schemes are at various stages of development: 100ha of land is being cleared for cultivation at the Mogalatjane Irrigation Scheme; 41ha has been identified at Tswelopele Irrigation Scheme in Fetakgomo Tubatse Municipality and agreements are due to be signed at Kolokotela and Setlaboswana Irrigation Schemes. The provincial government sees the creation of infrastructure to support agriculture as part of its mandate. Farmer Production Support Units (FPSU) will provide services for primary production, post-harvest handling, storage and see to the coordination of Credit: ZZ2 LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2021/22 28

OVERVIEW Credit: CottonSA transport logistics. The FPSU in Vleischboom has been completed and the unit at Masala is nearing completion. The Limburg Citrus project in the Waterberg District intends to establish 500 citrus orchards and a packhouse which will support 300 jobs. About 2 200ha at Tshivhase, Mphaphuli and Tshakuma are to be planted with macadamias while 800ha at Afrupro, Makgoba and Morebeng will receive avocado plants. These projects are expected to create a total of about 2 600 jobs for local residents. Enhancing the value chain is the aim of further projects related to grain and cotton in Sekhukhune, vegetables in Mopani, red meat in Waterberg, and potatoes in Capricorn. Export contributions The percentage contribution of Limpopo agriculture to national agriculture is 7.6% although its contribution to provincial GDP is just 2.3%. Agro-processing has enormous potential to expand in every subsector. Limpopo’s fruits and vegetables form an important part of South Africa’s export basket and more than 45% of the annual turnover of the Joburg Market originates in the fertile province. Companies like ZZ2 are major contributors to the country’s annual production of 120 000 tons of avocados. Of the current crop, about half is currently produced in two Limpopo regions, Letaba and Tzaneen. Exports are rising exponentially. In response to this demand, and the potential of the Chinese market, almost 1 000ha per year of new land is being planted with avocados in South Africa. The same amount of new macadamia planting is underway every year, according to the Macadamias South Africa (SAMAC), adding to the existing 19 000ha. The other big sellers are mangoes and tomatoes. Limpopo grows three-quarters of South Africa’s mangoes and two-thirds of its tomatoes. The Waterberg district produces large quantities of red meat while Capricorn has potatoes in abundance, Vhembe in the north specialises in citrus and subtropical fruits. Mopani has those fruits too – and the Mopani worm. The Sekhukhune region in the south-east produces grain and the marula fruit that goes into Amarula cream liqueur. Westfalia is another huge enterprise, part of the Hans Merensky Group, and it is the world’s largest avocado grower. It also produces significant quantities of mango, litchi, citrus and macadamia and has three agri-processing plants in the province. Greenway Farms supplies about 45% of the fresh-market carrots consumed in Southern Africa under the Rugani brand. VKB Milling runs white maize mills in Mokopane, 29 LIMPOPO BUSINESS 2021/22

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