An abundance of Aloe Marlotthi grows in the wild in our Municipal Area.
The Provincial Department of Economic Development and Tourism funded a Scoping Report, a Feasibility Study and the setting up of a pilot Aloe processing plant in our area.
We also obtained Grant Funding fro the European Union to establish and expand this project.
We combined the Processing of the Aloe Marlotthi with the Athrixia Phylicoides (Berg Tea) - We identified 18 unemployed beneficiaries from the deep rural areas to champion the project. We obtained harvesting permits from KZN Wildlife to harvest and process both the Aloe and the Berg Tea.
In practice the process are as follows:
The 2 bottom rows of leaves of the Aloe Plant are cut off and transported to the Processing Plant, where is is washed in baths. The beneficiaries then take off the outer thorney leaves. The inner fillet is then washed again to remove the last bitters. The fillets are then liquidized, which results in two products, Aloe Tonic and Aloe fibres. The Aloe tonic is mixed with various juices to improve it`s taste. The tonic is extensively used by HIV/AIDA infected people to improve / build up their immune systems. The Aloe juice (tonic) are also further processed into soaps and creams to assist people with skin ailments.
The aloe lump (bitters)is used to flavour bitters, vermouth and other alcoholic drinks. Italy is home to some 500 after-dinner digestive drinks or amari, including Fernet, Averna, Fernet-Branca, Montenegro, Lucano, Ramazzotti, Campari, etc.
Products such as beauty soap, health tonics, facial creams and teas are aslo made from the juice of the Aloe leaves.
Mr Bertie le Roux (082 809 4587)
The Athrixia grow up in the mountains of KZN. The branches with the little leaves are harvested and transported to the factory. The leaves are then removed and packed as Green Tea, which assist with ailments such as:
We appointed a marketing agent to market and sell all these products on a commision basis.
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Five (5) targeted community gardens were elected based on the availability of infrastructure, which is the irrigation system, fencing and the soil that is appropriate to plant sweet chillies.
The contracts have been secured for the following projects.
Name of the project area
Inkanyezi Yokusa cooperative Enkunzi
Cemetery road nursery Next to old pound
Ubumbano crop farmers Embulwane
Ubuhlebentuthuko cooperative Ezakheni "E"
The plants produce fruit of a good quality .The chillies are harvested and transported to the sweet chillie processing plant in the Ithala Industrial Estate.
The aim of this project is to plant Pecan Nut trees, harvest the fruit and then process (add value) to the products as to ensure that enough money is generated to assist the beneficiaries to become entrepreneurs self - sustainable.
Brief Project Discription
37 hectares of agricultural Municipal owned land, adjoining the Klipriver and Thembalihle, is being utilized for this project. Irrigation water will be pumped from the Klipriver and three- (3) phase electricity is already available on site.
The establishment of a Pecan Nut Industry in Ladysmith was introduced. Feasibility studies and the business plan were done and completed. R1 million (grant Funding was received from COGTA. The consultant was appointed, funded by DED to establish the legal entity to implement this project, but their service was terminated with no explanation given to us. The Municipality took an initiation to identify beneficiaries. A group of eleven (11) youth and 13 woman were identified as beneficiaries, but the youth group has since vanished
The access road was constructed in-house by our Engineering department for an amount of R94 876.04 as our contribution towards the development of this project and is 100% complete. 15 hectares of land has been fenced.
Five community gardens were identified and pecan nut trees were also planted there with each receiving approximately 32 trees. In order for the beneficiaries to be sustainable in the time that the trees take to bare fruit, Prickle Pear trees and mealies were planted as well. The Prickle Pears are growing well and the mealies have been harvested, milled and sold.
The Municipality has developed a programme where emerging farmers are supported by assisting them with seeds, seedlings and food security projects to up lift their farming capacity.
Cemetery Road Nursery
The Municipality has funded the establishment of the nursery to assist local emerging farmers to find seedlings in their own vicinity. There are five beneficiaries that are performing daily duties like watering, fumigating and ensuring that the project becomes a success.
Department: Economic Development is in the process of assisting them to register with CIPRO as a legal entity.
The Nursery shows the great potential of sustainability.
Power has been connected.
Beneficiaries will only be able to generate income once the nursery is able to operate at a full scale.
The LED Unit is in the process of compiling a business plan to access funds that will assist to construct proper chicken sheds, which will help in increasing the production. Department of Trade and Investment, Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs and Department of Economic Development and Tourism have been approach for assistance.
Our Municipality is participating in the BR&E programme of the Department of Trade and Investment (DTI) to retain and expand existing businesses in our town. The target is to visit 20 Industrialists per annum and to ensure that they have the support of the Municipality. Further, to ensure that communication lines are open and to ensure that business is not lost.
All concerns raised by the various businesses are being attended to and reports are being forwarded to the various Departments of the Municipality to expedite same.