Venue: eMadungeni, ubuhlebezwe ward 12

In order to create vibrant agricultural communities and improve food security, the Provincial Government has formally launched this year’s planting season in Madungeni in uBuhlebezwe local municipality under the Harry Gwala district today.

The Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Sipho Hlomuka and the MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development Bongi Sithole Moloi, together with the Harry Gwala district Mayor Zamo Nxumalo and the Mayor of uBuhlebezwe Cllr Ngubo, officially launched the planting season programme in the district.

Through this programme, communities across the district and the area of eMadungeni will be provided with specialised support that will assist them in their efforts to till the land.

Within the programme, 3500 hectares of land are earmarked for farming produce, such as cabbages, carrots and other vegetables. The Department of Agriculture is providing seedlings and farming equipment, such as tractors, for this purpose.

Mayor Nxumalo, in delivering his welcoming remarks during the event, welcomed the annual rollout of this programme which reminds communities of the importance of farming. “As a district, we have experienced good rains and are excited by the opportunity this programme presents to us,” he said.

Nxumalo also expressed his happiness with the significant increase in the number of people from the eMadungeni community who are turning to farming. 

In her address to the community, MEC Sithole-Moloi called for the youth to look at the sector as a possible career: “We all have to eat; no one can survive without food and you as the young people of the Harry Gwala district are blessed with vasts amounts of land which need to be worked on so that you can be part of the farming community that feeds our nation,” she said. 

One of the beneficiaries – Mkhipheni Memela (65) from Atlas co-operative, based at Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma municipality, said he is grateful for the support from the Department of Agriculture. 

MEC Hlomuka, who is also the political champion of the district under Operation Sukuma Sakhe, called on the community to make use of the support that is being provided by the government: “This support will ensure that our communities have food security. We must not turn our backs on working the land. Many of us grew up planting crops in our homes so let us continue with that good practice to grow our own food and take care of our families,” he said.

As part of the launch of this year’s planting season, the two MECs and the two Mayors handed over an assortment of farming tools to the cooperatives. 

Joint media statement issued by the Department of Cogta, DARD, the Harry Gwala District Municipality and the uBuhlebezwe Local Municipality