Yesterday, 3 May 2021, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer and the Executive Meyer of Stellenbosch, Adv Gesie van Deventer, visited two successful land reform projects in Stellenbosch.
Smallholder farmers Christene Jeptha and Hylton Arendse were granted a long term lease on municipal agricultural land by the Stellenbosch Municipality in 2019. Today, they are successful farmers producing and supplying a variety of vegetables and herbs to local retailers.
Minister Meyer: “Congratulations to the Stellenbosch Municipality for making land available to qualifying small scale farmers. It is an example of successful land reform. The municipality has created the opportunity for underused municipal land to become productive farmland and create jobs.”
Christene Jephta produces tomatoes, lettuce, brinjals, green beans and spring onions which she supplies to Subtropica, Epping Market, and locals from surrounding communities. The business has six full-time employees.
Hylton Arendse grows vegetables and herbs such as basil, coriander, rocket, parsley, spinach, beetroot and green beans. His markets include In2Foods, Farm Fresh, Golden Harvest and Watergate Herbs. His farming venture has created 12 full-time jobs.
According to Executive Mayor van Deventer, the Stellenbosch Municipality’s goal is to give emerging farmers access to municipal agricultural land. This ensures the optimal use of agricultural land within the Stellenbosch Municipality.
Van Deventer: “The municipality must create an environment that enables business development and job creation. We are committed to boosting our economy and jobs. Giving emerging farmers access to land does so.”
“The visit confirms that a critical ingredient for land reform is the farming experience of the recipients. These two farmers are proof that section 25 of the Constitution does not have to be changed to ensure successful land reform concluded”, Meyer.