Media Release: Garden Route DM commits an additional R 2.5 million towards export hub
For Immediate Release
6 September 2021
The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) reaffirmed its commitment recently for developing the Klein Karoo economy when Council approved R2 520 000.00 towards laying a pipeline from borehole fields near Calitzdorp. This project also forms part of the Joint District Metro Approach (JDMA), which was endorsed on the same day, with this funding approval in August 2021.
According to Alderman Memory Booysen, Executive Mayor for GRDM, “the project will see an Agri Village established in the future, with 600 homes for community members – they’ll have the rights to their own titles too”. “It is projected that 1 800 permanent jobs and 2 000 seasonal jobs will be created through this initiative. Furthermore, this initiative will promote Agri-Tourism, as there are planned events and programmes linked to this activity to bring people into the Karoo” said Booysen.
GRDM initially funded R600 000 to carry out a water study in the area, which turned out to be successful. From this, the Municipality received two desalination plants for reverse osmosis, capable of cleaning 60 000ℓ of water per hour. After laying pipelines, the project will be ready to increase its ‘slice of the cake’ in the export market. Offtake agreements are already in place with SAPEX EXPORTS.
Primary exports will be pomegranates, and even though this type of export business from Southern Africa is a minuscule industry, there is scope for this market to grow exponentially. Currently, only 1% of world pomegranate production is exported from South Africa because exports only started a few years ago. At the moment, the total plantings in Southern Africa are less than 1000ha. “At least 10% of this hectarage will be reserved for previously disadvantaged groups (BEE) farmers,” Ald. Booysen said.
This creates an ample opportunity for exports from the Southern Hemisphere to markets in the Northern Hemisphere in their off-season, and to the Far East because there is no production there.
Feature image: Alderman Memory Booysen, Executive Mayor for Garden Route District Municipality with his Mayoral Committee members and municipal employees at Celebratio, a company that successfully grows and exports pomegranates.