In an official document from the Eastern Cape Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform (EC DRDAR), it was confirmed that only 11 emerging farmers benefitted from the multimillion Rand deal with the Kuwaiti company, Al Mawashi in October 2019.

The claim that this deal is helping the emerging farmers is mere propaganda. On the shipment that left South Africa in October 2019, 56 002 sheep were loaded onto the Al Shuwaikh vessel. Of that 56 002 sheep, a dismal 4 410 sheep were from emerging farmers. That is not even 8% of the sheep that left South Africa.

In an attempt to justify the need for this abhorrent practice, the EC DRDAR, as well as the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC), have boasted about the benefit this has for the Eastern Cape emerging and developing farmers, but behind these deceitful statements, only a handful are benefitting and are not being paid the top dollar for their animals.

“This is a prime example of how cunning and objectionable this deal is – not only are half-truths spewed to the public to consume, but the emerging farmers who are doing their best to make an honest living are being taken advantage of – we have also been informed by the manager of the Al Mawashi feedlot in Berlin that the sheep that are purchased from emerging farmers do not even make it onto the ship, they are taken to the local abattoir – luckily they do not have to endure the treacherous journey to the Middle East, but the manner in which Al Mawashi, the ECDC and the EC DRDAR choose to conduct themselves in, is indicative of their lack of ethics and common decency” said Marcelle Meredith, NSPCA’s Executive Director.

South Africa has come so far in empowering the previously disadvantaged – this type of conduct only fuels the fire of more injustice, making the rich richer, and the poor poorer but in a way that makes the people of South Africa think that the poor are being uplifted.

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