Poultry farmers in the feeding area of the Lebowakgomo abattoir marched to the Office of the Premier last Wednesday to hand over a petition in which they voice their dissatisfaction with the way the Lebowakgomo Poultry Abattoir is managed.
Padi Motuku, Chair- and Spokesperson of the Limpopo Poultry Farmers’ Association and poultry farmer on the Leeuwkuil smallholdings told Polokwane Observer that the abattoir was built by the Department of Agriculture more than ten years ago and has never been fully functional since then. According to Motuku, the cost of the project was R70 million and it was refurbished in 2004 and again in 2012, but could still not get off the ground. “Since 2003, the department has advertised five times to source a strategic partner to operate the abattoir, but no progress has been made as yet. Our aim with the march is to bring our situation to the Premier’s attention so that he can intervene and get the project going. We have 12 environmentally controlled chicken houses that produce 40 000 chickens per cycle of 50 days and there are seven cycles per year,” Motuku said, and added that the chicken houses were built on the farmers’ land by the department but it now appears that the department has abandoned the project.
Sipho Dikgale, Spokesperson for Agriculture and Rural Development MEC Joy Matshoge, said that the Department is aware of the march that took place. “Yes, it is true that the adverts for potential investors were issued on more than one occasion without success. Part of the delay on finalising the appointment was due to the process of amalgamation of the former Limpopo Agribusiness Development Corporation into Limpopo Economic Development Agency (Leda). This process was finalised by December 2012. Since then, the administration of this project was managed by Leda,” Dikgale reported, and confirmed that an advert was placed in the newspapers, a briefing session took place, three business proposals were received by the closing date and that Leda is in the process of finalising the appointment of the investor.
Story: BARRY VILJOEN
Featured photo: Padi Motuku, Chair- and Spokesperson of the Limpopo Poultry Farmers’ Association and poultry farmer on the Leeuwkuil smallholdings.