Overstrand Executive Mayor, Annelie Rabie, MMC Elnora Gillion, Municipal Manager Dean O’Neill and Director of Social and Economic Development, Soli Madikane, had a successful meeting on 17 March 2022, with most of the small pig farmers that are currently using just over one hectare of the municipal farm, Besemboshoutskloof, to keep their pigs.
Mayor Rabie also garnered the support of the Department of Agriculture and the Overberg District Municipality (ODM) in order to find an amenable solution in collaboration with the Overstrand Municipality and the small farmers.
Site visits have already been conducted by the above mentioned department and the ODM to determine what is needed to improve security and other conditions on the farm.
The Municipality is desirous to enter into a formal medium term lease with the farmers as this is one of the requirements of the Department of Agriculture to provide the much needed support and funding.
In the meantime, the farmers must organise themselves formally and ensure that the area is kept clean and that the welfare of the pigs are attended to in a humane way.
It was agreed that the issue of security of tenure will be addressed by Council by the end of April 2022. This will allow all role players to develop and agree on an action plan that can be endorsed by Council.
Mayor Rabie expressed her gratitude to the farmers for their patience and willingness to collaborate and confirmed that there is political will to make the project work while alternative land is being sourced.
It is the intention to also contact the Department of Rural Development to assist with the acquisition of land for the farmers.