R22m tender for new milking parlour
A NEW milking parlour planned for a Humansdorp dairy will boost the government’s drive to rejuvenate black commercial farming in the Eastern Cape.
A tender for the R22-million parlour for the Wittekleibosch Dairy went out earlier this month.
The project is a joint venture between the Kleikamma Trust and the Wittekleibosch Development Trust (WDT).
Rural Development and Agrarian Reform MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane said he expected contractors to be on site by mid-July and that construction would be completed by February.
“Our priority is to commercialise agriculture in the province and help black people get into the mainstream of commercial agriculture,” he said.
Qoboshiyane said he was confident the parlour investment would increase jobs.
“As we work with them to build this facility, we will work with them to ensure improved milk quality and help them get markets to sell their products,” he said.
The dairy employs six managers and 72 labourers. The new milking shed is expected to add eight more jobs.
Qoboshiyane said the expansion formed part of the land restitution project.
The land where the parlour will be built belongs to the Mfengu community.
Mfengu comprises the Doriskraal, Snyklip, Wittkleibosch and Nuweplaas areas.
The Mfengu community later formed the WDT, which comprises 152 families.
It now falls under the Tsitsikamma Development Trust.
The Mfengu community was forcefully removed from its land under apartheid.
The land was restored in 1994 through the government’s land reform policy.
An old structure at the dairy is currently being used as a milking parlour for the 1 200 cows.
“The number of animals has increased, hence the need to increase milking facilities,” Qoboshiyane said.
“They wish to expand their venture by acquiring a milking parlour to curb the pressure of long hours of milking due to the increase in the number of cows.”
The new milking shed has brought renewed hope to the community.
Zilindile Blouw, a Wittekleibosch resident and farm manager, said the community was excited.
“We have been waiting since 2010 for this venture to get off the ground,” he said.