Home News Deputy minister to assess water projects

Deputy minister to assess water projects

393

The Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation, Judith Tshabalala, is expected to visit the Northern Cape today to assess the Water Allocation Reform programmes in the Upington and Kakamas areas.

The Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation, Judith Tshabalala. Picture: Boipelo Mere

THE DEPUTY Minister of Water and Sanitation, Judith Tshabalala, is expected to visit the Northern Cape today to assess the Water Allocation Reform programmes in the Upington and Kakamas areas.

The visit was initially planned to take place last week but was rescheduled for today due to other pressing commitments.

Tshabalala will be accompanied by the Northern Cape MEC for Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Rural Development and Land Reform, Mase Manopole, as well as the mayors of Dawid Kruiper and Kai ǃGarib municipalities.

The deputy minister’s visit to Kakamas will particularly focus on the Karsten Boerdery Women’s Trust group of farmers, five Historically Disadvantaged Individuals (HDI) projects that have been allocated a total of 936 hectares of water use entitlements and Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) farms in the area.

She will also inspect the Vine Academy in the Kai !Garib Local Municipality.

Tshabalala and Manopole are expected to intervene in the 5 Kakamas HDIs, which unfortunately ground to a halt.

Three of these projects, which received 261 hectares of water use rights, were in a productive state when bought by the government and handed over to the new HDI owners.

Two of the three produced export table grapes and the third wine grapes for the local cellars. One of the three farms also produced mangos for the local and export markets. All of these projects collapsed and came to a standstill after the handover.

There is currently no production of any kind at any of the HDI projects.

The Karsten Group is one of South Africa’s leading agri-businesses, respected both locally and internationally, for the excellence of its products, cutting-edge innovation and integrity in its dealings with staff, service providers and customers.

The Karsten Group’s success, for example, is the Keboes Fruit Farms that were established on virgin soil in semi-desert conditions on the banks of the Orange River at Raap en Skraap.

The area can only be described as the “Garden of Eden” for table grape production. The semi-arid land and favourable climate results in mostly pest- and disease-free grapes of the highest quality.

Furthermore, co-ownership of the farm by workers makes it a model for success and co-operation within the South African context.

The objective of the Water Allocation Reform (WAR) programme is to redress race and gender imbalances, promote broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE) and promote fair, reasonable and consistent water allocation.

WAR is a way of sharing the limited water resources in the best interest of the country.

As the custodian of national water resources, the Department of Water and Sanitation has to promote the beneficial use of water in the best interest of all South Africans.

The fact that water resources are inequitably and unfairly distributed, means that there is a need to harness the developmental potential of all South Africans towards sustainable and fair economic growth and a more stable society.

Previous articleWhat’s happening at the Kimberley Golf Club – November 3-11
Next articleFilmmakers to showcase skills at youth film festival