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History behind the project

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The department transferred R5 million to Rooibos Tea Processing for the implementation of the Rooibos extraction and solar energy expansion

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THE ROOIBOS development, a mega project in the budget of the Northern Cape Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, was identified as one of six projects in the Province that would receive funding from the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP) and Illima/Letsema grants.

The CASP conditional grant was allocated R252.4 million while the Illima/Letsema Projects Grant received an allocation of R60.7 million for the 2018/19 financial year.

The department, in the 2017/18 financial year, transferred R5 million to Rooibos Tea Processing for the implementation of the Rooibos extraction and solar energy expansion.

Farmers previously complained that they were forced to sell their crops to the Rooibos production and packaging factory in Nieuwoudtville, which was established as an empowerment scheme by the Department of Agriculture. They said they were forced to give at least 70 percent of their crops to the Nieuwoudtville Rooibos factory and not to co-operatives, where they were threatened that their tractors, tools and diesel donated to them by the department would be confiscated if they refused.

It states that it was established in 2008 by the Northern Cape Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development as an economic hub for the rooibos tea industry in Nieuwoudtville and was built to process 3 000 tons of tea annually for the local and international market.

“The factory is 100 percent owned by government and therefore unlike any private company the objectives differ slightly in that our profit margins are not dictated by having to distribute profits to individual shareholders, but rather profit margins are dictated by ensuring the economy is grown though successful and sustainable farmers and to ensure that jobs are created and sustained in the long term.”It states that it was established in 2008, by the Northern Cape Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development as an economic hub for the rooibos tea industry in Nieuwoudtville that was built to process 3 000 tons of tea annually for the local and international market.

“The factory is 100 percent owned by government and therefore unlike any private company the objectives differ slightly in that our profit margins are not dictated by having to distribute profits to individual shareholders, but rather profit margins are dictated by ensuring the economy is grown though successful and sustainable farmers and to ensure that jobs are created and sustained in the long-term.”