Urban pig co-operative needs land to stay in business

Urban pig breeders in Port Elizabeth’s Motherwell township fear their project may fall apart because of insufficient land to grow their business.

The members of the Zanempilo farming cooperative have small pigsties, constructed out of wooden boards and poles, dotted along the edge of a storm water drain filled with dirty water, reports GroundUp.

While each member has his or her own sty, they club together to provide for medicines, storage and security. They also work together to collect water and look for clients. The cooperative has 15 members. All are either unemployed or pensioners.

The cooperative’s secretary, Bukiwe Nolutshungu, 58, says rearing pigs is a demanding job that needs particular skills. She says the group plans to go into full-time urban farming if given the necessary resources.

“We formed this cooperative in 2016 after discovering that urban residents, especially those living in townships, were struggling to get pork. People would travel to farms to either buy live pigs or meat,” says Nolutshungu.


“The business is good especially during public holidays and at the end of the year when people are in a celebratory mood. We however have a critical shortage of land to operate our project. This place is along a stormwater drain. We need to get approval from the municipality to use a piece of unoccupied land that is just across this water drain. That land is good both for pig breeding and gardening. The land is used by criminals from Ikamvelihle who hide their stolen goods there,” says Nolutshungu.

Mzimkhulu Ngece, 51, reiterates Nolutshungu’s point: “We need a better place to secure our pigs and equipment. We have many piglets that do not have a safe place to stay. They end up roaming the streets. Some are knocked down by cars. We also want to secure the structures to protect them from criminals. This would help us live peacefully with some residents who don’t want pigs near their houses.”

He says they are fortunate to have a communal water tap close to their pig shelters. “We use containers to fetch water and supply the pigs. However, the metro is experiencing a dry period with little water left in our dams. We would prefer to have a huge water tank to harness rain water as a way of saving municipal water.”

Simpiwe Dlilanga, 44, says the pig business supports his two children. He has 14 pigs and is expecting to diversify into vegetable gardening.

“I started with few pigs and now they are plenty. I have been selling some of them to get money for my family. I also urge people who are unemployed to embark on self-help projects that generate income.”

Mayor Athol Trollip’s spokesperson, Sibongile Dimbaza, said the cooperative should approach his office for discussions.

“We are a municipality that encourages the initiative of Vuk’uzenzele [Get up and do it yourself] as that provides for jobs and leads to a better life. However every piece of land in the municipality is governed by the municipal by-laws and enforced by the municipality. We therefore encourage them to approach us with their proposals so that we can evaluate whether that piece of land is available.” — GroundUp

Subscribe to the M&G for R2 a month

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

And for this weekend only, you can become a subscriber by paying just R2 a month for your first three months.

Related stories

‘We sacrifice our families for Clover all year’

The strike at the dairy company continues, with exhausted workers demanding an end to compulsory weekend and public holiday work as well as overtime being forced on them

Processed food has bad press, but it’s essential for nutrition security

In an ideal world we’d all eat farm fresh, organically grown food, but an ever-expanding global population amid rapid urbanisation needs nutritious food in sufficient quantities

Manage urban transformation to avoid infrastructure blockages

It is possible to urbanise without congestion and the attendant ills through emphasis on better institutions, writes Eddie Rakabe

Eastern Cape university goes all in to assist provincial health-care efforts

A special steering committee seeks to fill urgent gaps in the system in order to fight the coronavirus

Coronavirus uncertainty affects asylum seekers

Some refugee reception offices in South Africa have stopped accepting new asylum applications as the government enforces stricter measures to deal with the Covid-19 crisis

Dimension Data launches Saturday School in PE

The Gauteng Saturday School has produced a number of success stories
Advertising

Subscribers only

ANC: ‘We’re operating under conditions of anarchy’

In its latest policy documents, the ANC is self-critical and wants ‘consequence management’, yet it’s letting its members off the hook again

Q&A Sessions: ‘I think I was born way before my...

The chief executive of the Estate Agency Affairs Board and the deputy chair of the SABC board, shares her take on retrenchments at the public broadcaster and reveals why she hates horror movies

More top stories

DRC: Tshisekedi and Kabila fall out

The country’s governing coalition is under strain, which could lead to even more acrimony ahead

Editorial: Crocodile tears from the coalface

Pumping limited resources into a project that is predominantly meant to extend dirty coal energy in South Africa is not what local communities and the climate needs.

Klipgat residents left high and dry

Flushing toilets were installed in backyards in the North West, but they can’t be used because the sewage has nowhere to go

Nehawu leaders are ‘betraying us’

The accusation by a branch of the union comes after it withdrew from a parliamentary process
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…