Rural insight

Rural insight

Building an empire on rented land

The Eastern Free State, where Maphale is determined to become a successful commercial farmer despite constant theft from Lesotho.

Lowveld school farms for its orphans

Mzinti primary school in rural Mpumalanga is not only growing its own food using eco-friendly techniques, but has started farming chickens and teaching other schools to grow food too.

Qamata: how deep is the rot?

Farmer's Weekly's efforts to get to the bottom of the Qamata irrigation scheme's failure to rise from the ashes, despite millions of rand being lavished on its revival, have raised more disturbing questions than answers - including why Eastern Cape MEC Gugile Nkwinti appears reluctant to heed an auditor's recommendation for a forensic probe into the scheme's finances. Stephan Hofstätter investigates the root of the rot.

A smart start for future farmers

At Penny Birch's farm school Smartstarts on Amersham farm in Dordrecht in the Eastern Cape, children learn how to rear, feed and sell sheep at production sales. They also get the chance to ride horses, quad bikes, tyre swings, bicycles and a calf or two. Besides these wonderful farm experiences, the academic side of schooling is not neglected.

New milestone for farm ‘from the sky’

While allegations of deteriorating farmer-worker relations in the Western Cape continue to make headlines, award-winning Cape winery Delaire forges ahead with a major expansion project that has kicked off with the construction of workers' cottages that are now the envy of the district.

SA’s breadbasket lies fallow while children starve

The fertile valleys and flood plains of the former Transkei boast some of South Africa's best ­agricultural land. Yet, the region imports most of its food, while infant mortality from ­malnutrition is rife.

Spiritual clash over land resolved

The historic Anglican St Augustine Mission near Ladybrand - also known as Modderpoort Mission - sacred for Anglicans and African Independent Church pilgrims, is an example of how land and its emotive value can lead to direct conflict. Mike Burgess visits the mission to uncover how history brought the Anglicans and African Independent church pilgrims to a head and how this has been resolved.

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