ZZ2’S fans and detractors
Known for its brightly coloured packaging, ZZ2 is a multi-million-rand conglomerate operating in Limpopo, the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Gauteng, North-west Province, Mpumalanga and the nearby country of Namibia. One of the company’s biggest fans is none other than South Africa’s finance minister Tito Mboweni, who mentioned how impressed he is by ZZ2 and its farming innovations. The company, owned by the Van Zyl family of Limpopo Province, produces 40% of the tomatoes and one-third of the onions consumed in South Africa from its 80,000ha of holdings.
ZZ2 has not escaped South Africa’s land reform debate. Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema said in May: “Here in Limpopo we are supposed to be producing tomato sauce at the backrooms of our yards because we are blessed with a fertile land. ZZ2 takes the tomatoes produced here to other places where jobs are created and then returns them to us at high prices.”
During the tabling of his first medium-term budget policy statement in parliament last year, Mboweni told journalists: “Closer partnerships have to be forged between the state and commercial farmers that could lend their expertise to help new farmers succeed.” Mboweni told local media: “Don’t chase [commercial farmers] away. If you have state land, get them to help you develop it.” He added that ZZ2 was an example of a “commercial farming enterprise that has excelled”.
But the farm is not well liked by the local community in Limpopo any more than by the red berets. Last year, locals accused the company of destroying more than 80 graves to make way for an avocado farm.
ZZ2 workers smile for social media