Unrest beset the country towards the end of last year. Strikes for higher labour pay started in the mines in the North of the country and not long thereafter spread to the agricultural sector. Mostly permanent farm workers were not part of the strike action, but temporary and migrant workers caused damage to the image of the industry, private property and did not do much to foster good relationships between farmers and workers. Of course, as is usual, a few trouble makers led the unrest which easily spilt over to the disenchanted jobless youth.
Fortunately we have not had any bad experiences here. We have a very good relationship with our workers and when the government took fright and caved in to the demands by the so called farm workers and increased the minimum wage, we entered into negotiations with our workers, as the additional 52% labour cost is unaffordable on top of the increases in fuel, electricity and other general inflation.
At the end of the year certificates for long service are issued to the staff. We have had numerous workers with 20 and 25 years or service. The cheers, whistling and clapping need to be heard to be believed. And then the singing and dancing starts!
There is positive news on the supply side. A number of the large areas that had been burnt about 5 – 6 years ago are now fully in production again. We had very good rains during our winter and our dams filled rapidly. The veld is looking lush and the spring flowers were better than for many years before. It seems that we may be in for bumper crops of Repens and other products.
We now make whitewashed products as well as bleached and dyed, to customer’s requirements. All you need to do is ask for the pricelist.
A few years ago we started diversifying into Pomegranates and Olives. They require a lot of attention, but it is gratifying that we already produced our first small crop of olives, which we had pressed and bottled. We are selling some at the Brewery. (See the Brewery website ) The first proper crop of Pomegranates is expected soon. It is so nice to see the young trees in flower early in spring, and we are constantly amazed that they can carry those large and heavy fruit filled with ruby-red arals. We market some locally, but the main crop will be marketed overseas.
Our 4X4 route through our Nature Reserve is quite popular, with vehicles using the facilities every weekend. The obstacle course and picnic areas lower on the farm are well used.
We look forward to being of service to you!