Friday, August 26, 2011

FREE STATE NEWS (August 2011 editions)

This web page(s) regularly focuses on the leading Free State (South Africa) newspaper – Free State News – the first regular newspaper to be orchestrated fully by black people in the Free State province. The paper has been published on a weekly basis since 1999. Regular items like “Feature of the week” have appeared here over the years.

Free State News crew

Moses Vinger

Confidential Secretary/Manager
Maki Mohapi aka “Madam Maki” “H.C”


Thobeka Funani (aka 'supermodel')

Kaya M

News Editor
Omoseye Bolaji

Seleke Botsime
Flaxman Qoopane

Columnist, Feminine Flutters:
Regomoditswe Motsalane

Sesotho Editor:
Kgang Abel Motheane

Lay-out artist
Tumisang Takang

Contact number:
051 447 1655

AUGUST 26 – SEPTEMBER 2 2011 edition

FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “Mbeki bestrides Vista Arena” By Flaxman Qoopane. Front page

Reproduced hereunder:

Mbeki bestrides Vista Arena

By Flaxman Qoopane

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki was the key note speaker during the Africa Arise Summit 2011 held at the Vista Arena University of the Free State South campus in Bloemfontein at the weekend.

Mr Mbeki congratulated the Student Empowerment Movement (SEM) from the University of the Free State and the Africa Arise Project, and the Empowerment Temple Bible Church for inviting him to address the Africa Arise Summit 2011.08.22

He said: “The topic I have been asked to present at this Summit is the Effects of leadership Bankruptcy in Africa. The 20th century was marked with the collapse of the Soviet Union, Africa celebrated when Apartheid was defeated. Although problems of underdevelopment and poverty have not yet been solved, Africa and its leadership have done a great deal in terms peace and stability in Africa.

“Today we have only two countries in the continent; namely Somalia and Libya involved in war. Steps must be taken to bring peace in Somalia and Libya, when we talk of democratisation of our continent. We recall that between 1990 – 1994 31 of the 52 countries in Africa held competitive elections. We need to speak positive about happened in our continent. We must salute such achievements.

“During the last 21 years, much progress has been made in Africa. We must not become victims of the negative stereotype. Our youth in the continent must act together to address corruption, and our religious leaders must also address the moral regeneration.”

Thabo Mbeki added: “Since we meet at the University of the Free State, the students must strengthen our African institutions. The youth of our country will take the leadership of our country and will be better empowered to handle the advancement of the continent. The role of the student is to study,”

He also stressed that Africans must have innate confidence in themselves. “We must not listen to people who say we are failures in Africa, We must make assessment about ourselves. Our universities are facing challenges to be agents of change,” he rounded off, amidst ringing applause.

AUGUST 19 – AUGUST 25 2011 edition

FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “Kgalema in Bloemfontein for pivotal Aids Council” Front page. By Nthabiseng Lisele

Reproduced hereunder:



The City of Roses - Bloemfontein - was the place to be at the weekend as the metropolis was graced by distinguished guests whilst the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) met in a plenary session in the Free State Province.

The meeting was chaired by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and attended by ministers and deputy ministers, representatives of civil society sectors, as well as Premier Ace Magashule, and MECs of the Free State province.

The plenary was convened under the theme “Policy in Action”, which aims to deliberate on a wide range of interventions towards tackling the dual epidemic of HIV and TB.

In 2009, government made far-reaching policy changes to expand access to treatment, care and support to groups identified as critical to efforts to reduce morbidity and mortality. These include pregnant women, people who are co-infected with HIV and TB, and HIV exposed infants who test positive at birth.
Recent studies point to some encouraging signs that reflect the impact of these policies.

In April 2010, the country embarked on a massive HIV counselling and testing (HTC) campaign seeking to test and screen 15 million people for HIV and other chronic diseases. The campaign has been a tremendous success with millions of people responding to the call to know their HIV status.

Over the 15 months of the HCT campaign, 14 million people have been counselled and more than 12 million have tested for HIV in the public centre. In addition, 1,5 million were tested in the private sector. This reflects a six-fold increase in the number of people testing for HIV over the previous year. Of those tested, two million people were found to be HIV positive and were referred for further care.

It was also agreed that SANAC will embark on a targeted campaign to encourage more men and people at high risk of contracting HIV to present themselves for counselling and testing.

The Deputy President, in his suave manner urged all South Africans who tested positive not to despair but to return to their local clinic to receive care. He also explained some of the great strides made by government in this wise.

Government has increased the capacity to care for people living with HIV and require antiretroviral (ARV) treatment. Free State News learnt that the number of public facilities now providing comprehensive ART has increased from 490 to 2001. More than 1 750 nurses have been trained on Nurse Initiated and Managed ART (NIMART), making it possible for professional nurses to put people onto treatment.

Free State News also learnt that another fillip has been added with SANAC endorsing the National Health Council (NHC) policy to initiate treatment for all those who test positive with a CD4 count of 350 or less. The current National Strategic Plan on HIV, AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and TB (NSP) 2007 -2011 comes to an end in December 2011.

SANAC has now officially launched the first draft of the next NSP and announced the process that will lead to the development of the new National Strategic Plan on HIV, AIDS, TB and STIs 2012 – 2016. The NSP development process will culminate in the launch of the NSP 2012 – 2016 on 1 December 2011 - World AIDS Day.

The objective of the NSP development process is to ensure that all people in South Africa have the opportunity to participate in the development of the plan that will guide South Africa’s response to HIV, TB and STIs over the next five years.

AUGUST 12 – AUGUST 18 2011 edition

FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “Effervescence as Famsa marks Women’s Day!” By Seleke Botsime

Reproduced hereunder:

By Seleke Botsime

FAMSA held an illuminating function to celebrate Women’s Day (on Tuesday August 8 this week). The event was orchestrated at the offices of FAMSA (Family South Africa) and attracted some prominent ecumenical figures, and many other stakeholders.
The opening prayer was done by Pastor Malangabe who stressed the significance of the

fairer sex leaving a legacy: “just like the gallant women who took part in marching to Pretoria decades ago,”. The programme director, Ntate Mantutle welcomed everyone who attended the function. .Also present were women who were clients of Family South Africa. Mmaditaba Moletsane gave information about Famsa, underling that it was established since 1954. “Famsa renders pivotal services ranging from Marriage counselling, trauma, pre-marriage counselling, to divorce mediation. Recently they have decided to bring service closer to the people by visiting the police stations like Batho police station. We are hoping to spread our wings even further,”

Patience Sekhonyana, a fourth year student at the university explained the purpose of the day. She explained: “Women of yore did not have rights like women of today, alas. Today, organisations like FAMSA strive to empower women and equip them with enough knowledge in order to have a way forward.” Mathabo Mohale read a poem stressing the importance of women, titled: “Specially for you".

The first guest speaker was Mrs. Lydia Wesi, a lecturer at the National Hospital. She thanked all the women who participated. “Indeed, women went through a lot, but they need to know that the Big Nanny is always watching (God)! I used to be a client of FAMSA and I am proud of the help that I have done. When I experienced lot of death in my life to a point I was unable to handle it, as we all experience problems and there is always a solution for every problem.”

Mrs. Matsemelela who announced that she was a domestic violence survivor said that women should know that anything that happens in their life is not by mistake. “There is always a lesson to be learnt, even when sometimes one does not see it. On my own part, I was abused both emotionally and financially. But through it all I managed to make it and now I run a home-based care and I am a ward councillor.” She pleaded with every woman that they must find their purpose and leave a legacy.

The last speaker was the motivational speaker, Mrs Dichabe. She said that women are much stronger than many could imagine. “God will give us the right antidote for a problem; so one needs to persevere at all times despite the challenges. I must stress the importance of self-respect among women; we must learn to give in order to be blessed since the hand that gives is more blessed than the one that receives. A woman doesn’t have to sell her soul in order to achieve in life. When a woman knows her role and her worth she can achieve more,”.



By Flaxman Qoopane

The commemoration of 1976 “Mangaung Students Revolt: Ihobe Secondary School” was held at the Assemblies of God Church in Mangaung at the weekend.

Fikile Qithi, former student leader of Ihobe Secondary School and former political prisoner at Robben Island said: “The event marks 34 years commemoration of Mangaung Students Outburst. He paid tribute to younger students in Mangaung who were inspired by Soweto uprisings of June 1976 who also took part in the struggle against Afrikaans as a medium language of education.”

He also paid tribute to young students from Ihobe Secondary School, Marang Primary School, Sehunelo High School, Lereko High School St Bernard Roman Catholic School for rejecting the imposition of Afrikaans. These included Mpho Diba, Pinkie Litheko, and Fikile Qithi.

Zingile Dingani, the former Ihobe Secondary School student and now Secretary of Parliament from Cape Town said: “I’m a former learner at Ihobe Primary School. We learned Geography and mathematics in Afrikaans. That helped us to raise our consciousness.

“People including Issac Moroe the journalist from The Friend and teacher Mawonga Maqhina played an important role by politicising the Mangaung Students League. Mangaung became the centre of the students’ political activities. It was a very tough time during the 1980 students like Papie Makoto died during the struggle. We never had battles between the ANC and the PAC. We worked together in the Free State. People of this province liberated themselves.”

He added: “It is good that this occasion has been organised in Mangaung, we are going to have the ANC Centenary in the Free State next year. The people of this province must participate in the centenary celebrations.”

Sekhopi Malebo, former chairman of the ANC in the Southern Free State and MEC for Public Works Roads and Transport in the Free State said: “In 1977, the struggle reached its peak in Mangaung Students marched from Sehunelo High School to Moemedi High School. We had one slogan in the streets Black Power! We urge those students who were part of the struggle that took place in Mangaung to come together with comrade like Fikile Qithi and write a history book about the students’ uprising in Mangaung.”

Poets including Jah Rose, Flaxman Qoopane, Hector Kunene, Raselebedi Khotseng, Imbongi Sibongile Potelwa, a third year in Financial management recited a poem in Xhosa language.

Potelwa said: “My poem was about the great contribution done by the students of Mangaung during the struggle. In the poem I appreciate the price paid by those martyrs in order for us to be where we are today. Our youth must take this beautiful country to the next level,”

AUGUST 5 – AUGUST 11 2011 edition

FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “Magashule revels in ecumenical occasion” By Bongani Tshabalala

Reproduced hereunder:



Thousands of Methodist Church members gathered in Bloemfontein in Rocklands at Mangaung Outdoor Sports Centre at the weekend. The occasion was graced by the Premier of the Free State, Mr.Segobelo Magashule together with Mangaung Metro Mayor, Mr. Thabo Manyoni.

The ceremony was in aid of a thanks giving prayer, part of the Programme of the Free State Provincial Government to build close working relations with the churches. Earlier this year, the Provincial Government successfully hosted the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) and the Rivers of Living Waters.

This occasion acknowledged the role of the Churches whilst praying for the peaceful local government election which was held on 18 May 2011. Among the coterie of distinguished guests was the MEC for Health, Fundiswa Ngubentombi together with panoply of Methodist pastors. Hymns, worship songs and choruses punctuated the air, making the Rocklands Township to roar with waves of praises!

Mayor Manyoni welcomed the visitors with gusto. He acknowledged the stirring work done by John Weasley, who was the inventor of Methodist Church. He also urged togetherness of all races in the country. Before the Premier took the podium to deliver a key note address, there were choruses all over the place. Amadodana a se Wesile entertained the congregation, with even the MEC Ngubentombi and Journalists caught up in the spirit of songs. They danced with élan!

In his own speech, Premier Magashule rubbished the accusations made by Congress of the People (Cope) concerning the accounts of Operation Hlasela He said: “Cope comprises a group of people who are jealous and confused as well as bitter. They don’t want to see the ruling party progress, nor do they want to see people’s lives change for the better. As regards the section of the Media that is busy criticizing our works as Free State Government, we are fully aware of their machinations; we know all about them. We are going to expose them all, as we cannot turn a blind eye onto those accusations. We cannot condone false statements and defamation,” said a solemn Magashule.

Magashule went down memory lane straddling the history of the 1889 Annual General Council (AGC) in S.A of Methodist as Amadodana Ase Wesile celebrated 100 years. “This church played a pivotal role during the Apartheid era and the sundry movement of ANC. There were great leaders like Rev Mahabane and Enoch Sontonga - who was a missionary teacher of Methodist church missionary for pastors. We thank the Church; including those who are not formal members of this church, for your loyal support through thick and thin,” said the charismatic Premier.

He added: “To those who are unemployed, you must keep the positive flame alight and be sure that tomorrow will be okay - press on!” The Premier exultantly quoted the Bible, encouraging the congregation as the session petered to an end. Meanwhile, Mayor

Monday, August 1, 2011

FREE STATE NEWS (July 2011 editions)

This web page(s) regularly focuses on the leading Free State (South Africa) newspaper – Free State News – the first regular newspaper to be orchestrated fully by black people in the Free State province. The paper has been published on a weekly basis since 1999. Regular items like “Feature of the week” have appeared here over the years.

Free State News crew

Moses Vinger

Confidential Secretary/Manager
Maki Mohapi aka “Madam Maki” “H.C”

Kaya M

News Editor
Omoseye Bolaji

Seleke Botsime
Flaxman Qoopane
Bongani Tshabalala

Lay-out artist
Tumisang Takang

Contact number:
051 447 1655

JULY 29– AUGUST 4 2011 edition

FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “67 Minutes at Brandfort!” By Seleke Botsime

Reproduced hereunder:

67 Minutes at Brandfort!

By Seleke Botsime


The different government Departments joined hands and were on a concerted mission whilst celebrating the 93rd birthday of the great man, Nelson Mandela.

Brandfort was the place to be, since there is a lot of history here. For one, Winnie Madikizela Mandela stayed here for many years. Last Saturday the Premier and top government functionaries visited the Library of Majwemasweu and gave away toys to the children. The MEC of Sports, Arts and Culture, Mr Dan Kgothule said: “It’s indeed a special day to celebrate Tata’s birthday, and it’s important since the history of this place somewhat complements vestiges of the struggle,”

Mr Kgothule’s Department was there, together with MEC Zwane of the Agriculture and Rural Development. Also present was the MEC Mme Mamiki Qhabathe (of COGTA) who thanked all the people who attended the function. She urged them to unite in order to bring change, and give to the less fortunate.

MEC Zwane, together with other MECs, visited Meloding Farm near Brandfort, where his Department gave three farmers’ assorted sheep. This gesture sparked other magnanimous acts, as three farmers jointly donated a Ram worth R50 000 to Nelson Mandela. Mr Zwane indicated that they would find ways to deliver the present to Mr Mandela himself.

On Saturday, the Acting Premier, Sisi Ntombela gave away a house to Mme Elizabeth Platjie. The latter used to stay at the house that belonged to Mme Winnie Mandela from 1989. Finally, the title deed was signed by both Mme Platjie and MEC Sisi Ntombela. The house is well furnished from the kitchen to the bedrooms.

The house comprises eight rooms, including the garage. When she accepted the house, Mme Platjie said that she was very happy to have finally had a house that she could call a home. She explained that she originally had five children, but now only two children were still alive – together with three grand children. MEC Ntombela said that she is excited that she is giving away the house, and Elizabeth recounted some of the tribulations visited on her in the past.

On Monday this week, the Premier, Ace Magashule was there in person cleaning the grave yard at Brandfort together with the MEC of Health, Fezile Ngombentombi. Mr Magashule, together with other MECs, went to town and endeavoured to close the potholes. The Premier thereafter thanked the people who helped to make the day a resounding success - especially those who were giving their service without being paid. He even painted the place, and said: “We must spend this day remembering those who have fought for us to be here,”

JULY 22– JULY 28 2011 edition

FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “Mandela Day fizzes at full throttle,” By O Bolaji

Reproduced hereunder:


By O Bolaji

It was a monumental day steeped in the selfless traditions of the world revered icon himself, Nelson Mandela. Early this week, millions of South Africans, and the world at large heeded Madiba’s exhortations to orchestrate some 67 minutes of service to humanity.

Hence the proliferating deeds that unfolded on the day. Typical was Ward 7 in Mangaung where the celebration for Mandela started at about 10.00am. The ANCYL went into overdrive in marking the occasion with gusto, cleaning one of the children’s parks in Bophelong.

As the chirpy, boisterous ANCYL members told Free State News: “We are very much informed by the role Tata Mandela played to liberate our people. He sacrificed his life for us all. We the youth have to advance, retain, and revivify the efforts of Mandela in building a united, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous South Africa. We are exceedingly excited to take part in this event!”

Mme Keabetswe, Branch Executive Member explained that the day was all about service; “doing something good for others. Now, we are cleaning the park for the children. We are all in the loop as regards the awesome legacy of Mandela. This is our own contribution,”

Ultimately, the Ward Councillor, Mtshiwane gave an impressive speech to adumbrate the tantalising occasion. He said: “It behoves us all to remind the youth to always admire Nelson Mandela and his contributions for a peaceful, non-racial, and united nation. Today, on the legend’s birthday we can reinforce and complement his wonderful legacy!”

The Councillor also deprecated the “wrong, negative type of politics”. He said: “Young people must do all they can to be positive, broad-minded and avoid factionalism. They should follow the footsteps of Mandela who wanted a sane, non-discriminatory society with everybody finding their feet regardless of colour, creed and beliefs. The world in general has suffered too much from the antics of dangerous, bad leaders; hence the great ones like Mandela should be venerated,”

As regards the playing ground which witnessed such a hub of activities, many residents stressed that it was a nice gesture, but more still has to be done. “This place ideally has to be upgraded, and from time to time maintained. Recreational centres boost the society at large to be more galvanic,”



Next month (August, 2011) will be thirty five years since the Mangaung Students Revolt at Ihobe School took place. In tribute to Fikile Qithi and to rekindle and remind ourselves of his contribution to the understanding of oppression and forces of oppression, an event has been organized in Mangaung.

This will take place at the Assembly of God Church, corner Maphisa and Moshoeshoe Road at Phahameng. The event will also celebrate the Ihobe Class of 76.

Qithi made his name on the 20th of August 1976 uprising by defying the then apartheid regime almost single-handedly; ending up at Robben Island for five years because of his defiant stand against the erstwhile evil system.

He was accused of sabotage, and his three co-accused were given suspended sentences. Also, a play titled “1976: From Mangaung to Robben Island.” will be showcased on 6 August 2011.

Rehearsals for the scintillating play will start at the Performing Arts Centre of Free State on Monday 25 August 2011.

Mangaung 1976 Commemoration Committee Ihobe School can be contacted as follows:
Diba Goliath (072 7880116)
Raselebeli Khotseng (078 0157819)

JULY 15– JULY 21 2011 edition

FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “Top notch ladies blossom in business niche,” Front page. By Bongani Tshabalala

Reproduced hereunder:


By Bongani Tshabalala

Windmill Casino in Bloemfontein was a hive of frenetic activity with the convergence of women of high calibre from all walks of life. They were in tandem to discuss business under the theme of ‘How Money can work For You’

It was a laudable initiative from Mrs Eliza Ntshingila from Yadah Church Ministries International, in conjunction with IDC, Old Mutual and Free State government. Dignitaries included the sterling Political and Economic Analyst, Me Lebohang Liepollo Pheko, Hannah Ntshingila, who is an Accountant from Gauteng Province, and former Political adviser in the office of the President, Jacob Zuma. Also present were Dr. Gladys Modise Magagane, and the pulchritudinous Miss World Universal, Marinique Viljoen. Jacoline Ntshingila, board member from FDC, was the Programme Director. When Ms Remonde Abrahams, the Old Mutual representative took the podium, she spoke about savings’ retirement and education plans for “our children, and how valuable it is to save and invest in our assets.”

Miss World Universal, Marinique Viljoen, spoke about God’s Business and the confidence of a woman. She said: “Your dream might not be the easiest path to walk as God has intertwined in Woman’s heart, and you don’t need a title as a woman to make a difference in other people’s lives. We must be alert that we have a dream killer (Devil), and we must silence it because we have God on our side. Don’t belittle yourself by saying: who am I to be talented? You must know that you’re a child of God, you’re powerful beyond measure, and don’t listen to that voice of fear, as we’re liberated from fear, and poignant loneliness.”

“We are women who fulfil our communities as social workers, directors, educators, as well as wives. God has bestowed upon us unconditional love,” Marinique added. She quoted heavily from the Bible. She concluded by saying: “The way women are strong, they always keep things together. As a business woman, you must always have feminity, softness, compassion and passion for your business,”

Guest Speaker, Me Liepollo Lebohang Pheko is renowned for her sharp intellect and erudition. She took the stage with her usual poise and enunciation, delivering a speech whose theme was: “A Christian’s money is Really God’s Money”. Pheko is the last born of former President of Pan African Congress’ leader, Dr. Motsoko Pheko.

She said: “As a woman, you must have notion of ownership; use wisdom, don’t make your budget of your feelings. You need to invest more into your future as you must spend less, and live within your means.” She touched a cord, when she emphasised that women should be prudent and careful whilst negotiating generally. “As regards, contracts, you must enquire first before you sign, because the world might walk over us and we might end up being abused because of our signatures without reading thoroughly”. She added: “You must know that death is inevitable. You must prepare your will or Testament because what sustains us is God’s Grace, as death is part of life.”

She also encouraged women to choose the correct business where they buy shares and options of stock exchange. “They must attend business meetings so that they may barter with other business owners or entrepreneurships, and they must export or import in a manner to expand, merge, diversify, and target other markets”.

In her conclusion she said: “Women must be crucified, or die on the side of ‘Mamon’ - the love of money. Don’t forget that South Africa is one of the indebted countries in the world, so you must keep yourself out of debt. Don’t co-sign with anyone, work hard and live with these four divine principals as a woman; and you must know that God is the source. He is munificent in his glory,” said a poised Liepollo Pheko.

Meanwhile, Liepollo Pheko will be live on Television BBC World channel on the 22 and 23 July 2011, pursuant to attending a debate in Ukraine: “Is it good for a nation to host a sporting event?”

JULY 08– JULY 14 2011 edition

FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “Youth galvanized to forge ahead with dynamism” Front page. By Bongani Tshabalala

Reproduced hereunder:


By Bongani Tshabalala

Youth Day was again marked with the sobriety and trenchant manner it deserves, this year. South African youth celebrated its 35th anniversary, with adumbrations of the youth of 1976 who fought tirelessly, with many of them becoming martyrs of this country.

The Free State was not left behind in this wise, as they closed the month with a bang at Botshabelo Stadium. The Department of Social Development orchestrated the end of Youth Month programmes with élan. The activity was aimed at providing information and raising public awareness on programmes which are geared to benefit, mobilise and engage youth to take a lead in the reconstruction and development of their lives and country.

The theme of this mammoth, colourful closing Youth Month event was “Youth Action for Economic Freedom in our lifetime”. It was an event the hordes are still talking about!

The youth came in large numbers from areas like Botshabelo, Thaba Nchu and Bloemfontein to savour the occasion. To complement this, various stake holders came in large numbers to witness the event – as witness the likes of the Department of Social Development,
Department of Health, South African National Defence Force, National Youth Development Agency, Ndisa Finance, Central University of Technology, University of Free State, Department of Home Affairs, and Department of Rural Development.

The stakeholders took this congenial opportunity to enlighten and conscientise the youth as regards youth information in general, plus tantalising opportunities that are available in their departments. Yet the grim reality was also stressed, for example that South Africa is facing a crisis of youth with soaring unemployment rate of 70 - 73%.

It was exhilarating as Government Departments liaised together with camaraderie, stating that “Working together we can do more”. They explained that they were looking to ensure service delivery in diverse ways. “Other platforms are created to enable and empower young people to exercise their constitutional rights and become active agents for socio economic change,”

Mr. Bongo Nazo, who is a Director of Youth Development, took the podium on behalf of the Head of Department of Social Development, Me Maboe. He said: “Gone are those days where youth were saying they don’t know where to go, who to ask for help, and how to realise their dreams. Now, opportunities are placed in front of you; it is up to you to grab and seize the moment. The sky is the limit!” he enunciated, amidst ringing applause.

It was also pointed out that this year the Department of Social Development is aiming to establish the following projects that would benefit young people: Cemetery Management Cooperatives, Youth Clubs in 20 Communities, My Store Franchise in ten towns, and distribution of Social Relief of Distress Cooperative in Luckhoff.

The ambience here was one of buoyancy and hope for the future. One of the youths who attended this magnificent closing event told Free State News: “The Department of Social Development, by creating National Youth Service working on Child and Youth care service, has given us hope. On my own part I have learned to appreciate myself and the glittering opportunities in front of me, rather than remaining negative about so-called problems,”

JULY 01– JULY 07 2011 edition

FEATURE OF THE WEEK: “Trenchant Agricultural Boost” Front page. By Bongani Tshabalala

Reproduced hereunder:


…Cows and bakkies handed over to budding farmers

By Bongani Tshabalala

The FS Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has been exceedingly active in respect of the Departmental Farmer support and Developmental programme, as well as the preservation of the indigenous cattle breed. Hence emerging farmers in Ventersburg, Virginia and Henneman have been given a veritable shot in the arm!

Hitherto, such farmers struggled to get funding in order to improve their livestock and farming at large. But now eighty cows and two Toyota Bakkies have been handed over to the emerging farmers. Also, these agriculturists have been boosted with 60 beef cattle as well as three bulls and 20 for dairy cattle. Placius farm in Ventersburg was the epicentre of the donations.

Free State News gathered that in this financial year 2011/12 DARD R519 million was budgeted, with the complementary grant called (CASP) Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme. R102.00 million has been spent on the pertinent project.

The heart-warming event was graced by the HOD from DARD, Dr Dimakatso Moorosi, Lejweleputswa District Mayor, Mathabo Leeto and former Mayor of Tswelopele local Municipality, Me Rose Phukuntsi (who is now serving as member of mayoral committee in Lejweleputswa Municipality in Local Economic Development, Agriculture and Tourism).

The MEC responsible for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Mosebenzi Zwane geared up for his cardinal speech; meanwhile, others stressed that people must do all they can to create jobs for themselves in line with the exhortation of President Jacob Zuma who has said that this year should be one of job creation in local municipalities.
Mr. Zwane said: “This collaboration of the Department of DARD and Lejweleputswa is going to make it easier for the MEC and MMC of Agriculture Me Phukuntsi to facilitate growth in these projects, and even monitor for the MEC closely. You must be innovative in various projects and grow in order for government to be encouraged to fund you furthermore.”

Zwane also pointed out that in grain production, Free State is number one in the country, followed by the Western Cape. “So we must work hard to remain on top of the pile, and we’re going to make a follow-up in those projects to improve the lives of the emerging farmers. Keep it in mind that Agriculture is for the people who‘ve got the love of it, and patience. With these cows presented to you today, you have some security to take care of your own livestock so that we mustn’t repeat one mistake after the other. We need progress here in Agriculture in order to go forward to assist others who need our help. Note our motto: ‘our project will never die during our term, instead they will grow,’” said the charismatic Zwane.

“You must learn to stand on your own from today. Stop infightings! It is our legacy as Africans to have livestock because some of our children receive their education out of it. Please let’s work together with our Municipality to sustain this project. We must join hands together to fight poverty, to get fresh and nourishing food. It is our intention as government to feed you and do the right thing at the right time for the people. In this project there are 102 farmers whom the Department is assisting to be commercial farmers. Also, in this project, 50 households are beneficiaries.”

One of the exultant beneficiaries, Mr. Khothule thanked the Department for their largesse. “Really, one must be patient,” he said. “I waited and worked so hard with my partners in these projects, and now I’m smiling! To my colleagues, I say let’s go and work as well as listen to the stimulating advice given to us. For those who didn’t receive this time around, be patient as your turn will come sooner or later,” In conclusion, he fulsomely thanked the illustrious guests, the government in general, calling on them to continue to support Agriculture.