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North West Business 2023-24

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The 2023/24 edition of North West Business marks the 12th publication of this highly successful journal that, since its launch in 2009, has established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the North West Province. Renewable energy is a huge global trend, and the impact this burgeoning sector is having on the North West can be seen in the development of several new solar farms which are under construction. The North West’s strong suit in platinum group metals (PGMs) already puts the province at the forefront of the drive towards a greener and renewable economy because of the applicability of so many of those minerals and metals for the cleaner energy movement. North West Business includes news and analysis of the most important sectors. Best known for its platinum mines, grain and livestock farming and tourism, the province is making a concerted effort to bolster its manufacturing capacity through a dedicated new strategy which includes trying to attract solar panel manufacturing to the province. To complement the extensive local, national and international distribution of the print edition, the full content can also be viewed online at Updated information on the North West is also available through our monthly e-newsletter, which you can subscribe to at, in addition to our complementary business-to-business titles that cover all nine provinces, our flagship South African Business title and the new addition to our list of publications, Journal of African Business, which was launched in 2020.

OVERVIEW Agriculture and

OVERVIEW Agriculture and agro-processing South Africa’s “Texas” breeds superb cattle. SECTOR INSIGHT Citrus is making a comeback in the North West. Citrus trees, carefully protected, have been planted at two schools as part of a training programme which doubles as a carbon-offset project and is sponsored by Sun City. A revival of the citrus industry in the North West is one of the intended results of a training programme for previously unemployed young people sponsored by Sun City Resort. Six young people from Moses Kotane Municipality completed a 12-month Citrus Business Management learnership through the Citrus Academy and 100 trees were planted at two schools with the assistance of consulting group Sigma Industry South. Sun City sponsored soil and water testing, soil preparation, irrigation and fencing worth R130 000, as well as a vegetable garden at Sedibelo with a borehole worth R155 000 at the schools, Sedibelo Secondary School in Moruleng and Temogo Special Needs School in Mogwase. Lwazi Mswelanto, Sun City Sustainability Manager, said, “These trees will provide a crop for the schools to feed their pupils or for them to sell to raise funds to buy things such as stationery. North West Province is historically known as a citrus area, which is why Sun City selected orange trees, so that we reduce the impact of our operations through the carbon-dioxide minimisation provided by trees, while at the same time reinvigorate farming within the communities.” Although cattle and maize crops feature strongly in any discussion of North West agriculture, a black-owned company has succeeded on the back of hard work in the citrus market. Batlhako Temo Services, a former co-operative which started life cultivating sunflowers, is now a Brits-based company exporting to the Middle East and Taiwan. Over the years, the group of farmers has received support from the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform and from the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) which has enabled them to invest in equipment and expand their workforce. The remarkable success of doctor-turned-farmer Obakeng Mfikwe is creating opportunities for other emerging farmers through a partnership between KMF Feedlot and Abattoir and the Provincial Government of the North West. Mfikwe turned from medicine to farming in 2010 and has since built up a diverse and successful enterprise, KMF Farm Holdings, which ranges from poultry, feedlots and grain to the breeding of Simbras, Black Angus and Simmentalers. As part of a drive to help more farmers get connected to the more profitable end of the value chain, a beef beneficiation project is under consideration. To be located in the Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District, a feasibility study is investigating whether a public-private partnership NORTH WEST BUSINESS 2023/24 14 PHOTO: Sun City Resort

for constructing abattoirs and other relevant infrastructure would work. The Provincial Government is working with the Independent Development Trust on four agricultural projects, namely, Springbokpan Grain Silos, Kgora Farmer Training Centre and the Selame Poultry and Melton Research Farm. The dry western region of the province is home to large beef-cattle herds, and this is where the growing game-ranching and hunting industry has its base. The eastern and north-eastern parts of the province receive relatively good rainfall and are suitable for the cultivation of crops. The North West has approximately 1.6-million beef cattle, representing 12% of South Africa’s herd. Major breeds include Simmental, Brahman, Bonsmara and Simbra, a cross between the Brahman and Simmental breeds. The North West is sometimes called “The Texas of South Africa” because of its superb cattle herds but the province also produces good crops of onions and other vegetables. Proximity to the large urban concentrations of Pretoria and Johannesburg are advantages for the horticulture subsector. Kalahari Red and Boerbok goats are found in large numbers in the dry west. The number of goats for the province is estimated at 701 587 which is 12% of South Africa’s total. There are estimated to be 318 843 pigs, which is 20% of South Africa’s total drove. For those who know the North West as a water-scarce region, it may be surprising to learn that a priority in 2021 has been the repair of earthen dams and fences damaged by flooding. Nearly two-million hectares is planted with summer cereals, with about 50 000ha given over to winter cereals. The North West produces about 20% of South Africa’s maize and about 15% of its wheat. The central and southern sections of the province are dominated by maize and wheat farming. When it comes to sunflower seed, the North West is responsible for 33% of South Africa’s stock, and 23% of the nation’s groundnuts. The North West supplies 5.4% of South Africa’s potatoes, but parts of the Kalahari are ideally suited to the cultivation of seed potatoes. Companies Senwes has a strong grain division and it controls 68 silos. Its headquarters are in Klerksdorp and it has increased its stake in KLK so that it now controls 57.44% of the company most strongly associated A Senior and Grand Champion cow owned by KMF Farm Holdings. with the Northern Cape. Suidwes is based south of Klerksdorp in Leeudoringstad. More than 90% of the shares in the company are held by farmers. Grain handling is the main business and there are divisions for retail (17 outlets and one animal-feed depot), mechanisation, finance and research and agricultural economics (Terratek). Brits is the location of the headquarters of the MGK Group. The company runs five divisions and a plant that makes full-fat soy, a component in animal feed. NWK is another company with manufacturing capacity. The Lichtenburg-based enterprise makes liquid fertiliser (up to 10 tons per month), animal feed (Opti Feeds), processes sunflower seeds (Epko), and runs three grain mills. Another subsidiary, Opti Chicks, has a capacity of 600 000 chicks per week. NWK also deals in grain, runs several retail outlets and has a half-share (with Senwes) in CertiSure Brokers. The company has 37 silos with a capacity of 2.5-million tons. ■ ONLINE RESOURCES Grain SA: North West Department of Agriculture and Rural Development: Red Meat Producers Organisation: PHOTO: Simbra SA 15 NORTH WEST BUSINESS 2023/24

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