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Northern Cape Business 2023/24

  • Text
  • Tourism
  • Southafrica
  • Agriculture
  • Sustainable
  • Renewable
  • Mining
  • Solar
  • Business
  • Investment
  • Development
  • Port
  • Infrastructure
  • Green energy
  • Sector
  • Economic
  • Kimberley
  • Municipality
  • African
  • Province
  • Hydrogen
The 2023/24 edition of Northern Cape Business is the 13th issue of this highly successful publication that has, since its launch in 2009, established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the Northern Cape Province. Officially supported and used by the Northern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, Northern Cape Business is unique as a business and investment guide that focuses exclusively on the province. Specific investment opportunities are treated in detail in this journal, with a focus on geographic hotspots that are due to become the focus of sector-focused infrastructure development. Green hydrogen is the subject of a special feature in the early pages of the journal, but the subject comes up again in the Energy Overview.

OVERVIEW Agriculture

OVERVIEW Agriculture Climate change is presenting new challenges. SECTOR INSIGHT Upington Industrial Park will be a services centre for the sector. Mosplaas Citrus at Keimoes on the Orange River produces earlyseason fruit for the Karsten Group. Credit: The Karsten Group. After many years of drought, Northern Cape farmers have been battered by floods. For livestock farmers whose infrastructure has not been destroyed by overflowing rivers, the rain at least has the effect of reviving the veld to the point where sheep can graze again. Farmers dependent on irrigation, of whom there are many in the Vaalharts region and along the banks of the Orange River, face the additional uncertainty of the supply of electricity being unreliable as Eskom struggles to keep its power stations functioning optimally. And then the locusts swarmed, a regular occurrence. The fact that charities have been created with names such as “Save a Farm” and “Save the Sheep” is indicative of tough times. Both provincial and national government have reacted to the severity of the situation The Northern Cape MEC of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform, Mase Manopole, told the website Food For Mzansi that she was working around the clock together with the provincial government to ensure that the province remains food secure. Farmers’ concerns on a range of issues would be addressed. The MEC has met with farmers and representatives of Eskom to find ways to mitigate the power supply issue. A task team has been established by the National Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRD), where four sub-committees will report to the minister. In response to the death of several farm workers from what appeared to be heatstroke in January 2023, another national minister, the Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi, joined the MEC on a tour of three farms in the Kakamas area. He warned that food security would be affected if the preservation of the livelihood of farmworkers was not prioritised. The Provincial Government of the Northern Cape has announced that the Upington Industrial Park will act as a services centre for road, rail and air transport, agriculture, agroprocessing and manufacturing. In a similar vein, the Namakwa SEZ in Aggeneys will become NORTHERN CAPE BUSINESS 2023/24 22

OVERVIEW an industrial cluster for mining and agriculture services, beneficiation and manufacturing. Farmers and agro-processors are increasingly drawing attention to the need for good roads for the delivery of their products to market and they will be hoping that these parks will help to provide the necessary infrastructure. Premier Dr Zamani Saul referenced all of these problems in his 2023 State of the Province Address but added sinkholes and severe fires to the list. As he said in his speech, “The effects of climate change have been felt very close to home.” Dr Saul went on to list dealing with the effects of climate change as one of the priorities of the provincial administration for the 2023/24 period. In attempting to improve food security, the provincial government has pledged to help recipients of farms in terms of the land reform process to increase production and to supply technical and advisory services. Subsistence farmers receive garden starter packs and equipment. The Unemployed Agriculture Graduate Programme places candidates in a commercial business for a two-year period. The next intake will be in 2023/24 when about 80 graduates will be placed. Agricultural assets Occupying 36-million hectares, the Northern Cape is the largest province in the country, almost a third of South Africa’s total land area. Although the province is a predominantly semi-arid region, agriculture is a major component of the regional economy and the province’s farmers contribute 6.8% to South African agriculture. The agricultural sector also plays a vital role in the broader economy of the Northern Cape, employing about 45 000 people. This represents about 16% of employment, a much higher figure than the national figure of 5.5% Agricultural development takes place along defined corridors within the province. In the Orange River Valley, especially at Upington, Kakamas and Keimoes, grapes and fruit are cultivated intensively. High-value horticultural products such as table grapes, sultanas and wine grapes, dates, nuts, cotton, fodder and cereal crops are grown along the Orange River. Wheat, fruit, groundnuts, maize and cotton are grown in the Vaalharts Irrigation Scheme in the vicinity of Hartswater and Jan Kempdorp. The Vaalharts Irrigation Scheme Northern Cape MEC of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform, Mase Manopole, has vowed to help farmers and farmworkers. is one of the biggest systems of its kind in the world. Ranging over more than 30 000ha, it has transformed a semi-desert zone into a productive area that sustains cotton, wheat, maize, lucerne, citrus, peanuts, fruit, grapes, olives and pecan nuts. Vegetables and cereal crops are farmed at the confluence of the Vaal River and the Orange River in the vicinity of Douglas. Of the nearly 40-million 10kg bags of onions produced in South Africa (outside of linked production chains set up by supermarkets), about 10-million 10kg bags come from the Northern Cape. Wool, mohair, karakul, Karoo lamb, venison, ostrich meat and leather are farmed throughout most of the 23 NORTHERN CAPE BUSINESS 2023/24

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