MARIENTAL - Willem Afrikaner, the beneficiary of Unit A at //Haribes resettlement farm swapped the unit allocated to him in exchange for Unit C that which was allocated to Saggarias Swartbooi.
According to the 54 year-old Afrikaner, they swapped the units because the one allocated to him was too far. More than 30 families have since been resettled on the 50 000 hectare farm, acquired for N$10 million in August 2012.
Unit C is a group resettlement allocation of 3 460 hectares, which is subdivided into smaller farming units. Afrikaner who does not own any livestock had applied for a loan from the Agricultural Bank (AgriBank), but his application was rejected.
“They say my land is too small to be economically viable,” the beneficiary related. He is among the group resettlement beneficiaries and a mere 237.16 hectares has been allocated to him. According to Afrikaner, water is a big problem for the community, since most of them are scattered all over the 50 000 hectare farm.
“We have compiled a letter to get three tanks for drinking water so that we can protect our drinking water from the dirt. Government can help us with 10 000 litre tanks,” he said. Most of the group members who were allocated Units A, B and C are pensioners who were brought from a nearby farm.
The bulk of the group resettlement beneficiaries have converged around existing water points and do not branch out to their allotments, since they do not have the means to put up water infrastructure, unless government steps in to help.
Afrikaner, who has also built his home next to a water point, plans to move the moment he gets animals.
“I am not a pensioner yet, but I have only one eye and employers do not want to employ me because they think they will have to pay me out a lot of money, if something happens to the only eye that is left,” he related.
Afrikaner says if he can be assisted with animals and gardening equipment, he will become economically self-sufficient. Magrietha Fredriks, also a group beneficiary of Unit C does not have any livestock but hopes “government will give her livestock one day.”
Unlike Afrikaner and Fredriks, Piet Kooper, who is a Unit C beneficiary too, owns at least 21 goats. He was able to fix his water infrastructure on his little piece of land on his own, because he used to work at the Kalkrand Village Council.
“We were told that we would get a loan to buy animals but nothing has come of that,” he said. Kooper wants to buy cattle with his pension, which he received from the Kalkrand Village Council.