MOO! CATTLE MARCHED TO TOWN HALL
Farmers use their livestock to emphasise grazing land needs
Cattle made a grand entrance to Cathcart Road during the Mlungisi Farmers’ Association march to Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality to demand grazing land on Wednesday.
The association chair Zola Magoqoza said the livestock had to survive on overgrazed land and that the drought had exacerbated the situation in the Mlungisi camps.
Magoqoza said the camp was overcrowded with 75 members occupying the land, of which 60 were members of the association.
“We have a lease agreement with the municipality on one of the areas towards Roydon which we have been paying for. The land is occupied by people who the municipal officials agreed would be removed within seven days last month, but that has not happened,” he said.
Magoqoza said the members of the association found it difficult to meet with the officials who continuously made appointments which they failed to honour.
He said there was available land near the Lawrence de Lange Nature Reserve which had plenty of grazing for the livestock and their livestock were in danger at the Mlungisi grazing areas as municipal trucks, businesses and community members used the area for illegal dumping.
“Businesses dump piglets, chickens and chemicals which kill our livestock. We have seen municipal trucks and community members dumping building slabs. We have reported the incidents to the municipality, but no action was taken.”
A member of the association, Rara Kula, said: “You cannot be a farmer without grazing land and without being given the necessary resources to develop.
“Our livestock are important ... to support our families and to assist to develop the economy of the community, because we employ people.”
Kula said the farmers were a critical sector in agricultural and rural development.
“We are stakeholders who deserve to get a platform to meet with the municipality on a regular basis and our discussions should be progressive and not left hanging,” Kula said.
He said the municipality had land which should be given to farmers and if it was willing to work with the members of the association they could easily gain access to that land.
“We want land that will be well resourced, with sufficient water.
“When the municipality supplies the farmers with land other departments will also benefit by bringing platforms for development like shearing sheds and dipping and other handling facilities.”
MOO! About 300 head of cattle stood in Cathcart Road in front of the town hall when members of the Mlungisi Farmers’ Association marched to the Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality offices on Wednesday