13 November 2018 Read: 166
Bulletin is still no closer to obtaining any details pertaining to the actual launch of the intended Moshupatsela Agri-hub project at the old Bali farm outside Tzaneen. Two months ago we reported that the dilapidated Mopani District Municipality’s farm next to the R71, would be reborn into a bustling hub of agricultural enterprise aimed at developing the local emerging farmers and boosting the economy.
Spokesperson for the MDM, Witness Tiva, could not provide Bulletin with a date at which this project is set to launch as he explained that the project is still in the planning phase. According to Tiva the project is a joint venture between the MDM and the National Department of Rural Development and Land Reform and currently all avenues are being looked at before setting a specific commencement date.
In the meantime, we have received reports from local farmers in the area who claim that a woman who has been living on the farm for a number of years, has started harvesting the mangoes this past week. According to these reports, the woman is very well known among the locals and each year she employs labourers from the area to help harvest the fruit on this state-owned farm. “On more than one occasion she has proclaimed that farm to be her land and is often rather aggressive towards those who enter the gates and confront her about the harvesting of the mangoes. She has said on a few occasions that the farm and the mangoes are hers to sell.”
We asked Tiva about the mysterious woman but he claimed that he was not aware of the situation. He did however state that the land belongs to the state and that they would investigate the matter and deal with any trespassers accordingly. He also promised us feedback on the plans for the close on 81 families currently squatting on the grounds, but at the time of going to print we had received no word from his office.
*Editor’s note: Rather remarkably though, the rickety signpost erected at the entrance gates in order to proclaim the grand venture, has withstood some of the first heavy rains and accompanying strong winds. We are however still not sure of the whereabouts of the R2.1 million palisade fence allegedly erected around the property in February this year, but hold fast to the belief that it does indeed exist and provides a strong deterrent to trespassers. Much the same as the unnameable security guards which have been appointed at the site.