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Sibanye’s post-mining agri initiative seeks commercial farming, agribusiness partners

5th April 2024

By: Marleny Arnoldi

Deputy Editor Online

     

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Nonprofit initiative Bokamoso Ba Rona has published a request for expression of interest, in seeking to partner with established commercial farmers and/or agribusinesses to spearhead Bokamoso’s catalytic projects.

Bokamoso Ba Rona, which is Sesotho for ‘Our Future’, was founded by multinational mining and metals processing group Sibanye-Stillwater together with the Gauteng Infrastructure Finance Agency, the Far West Rand Dolomitic Water Association and the West Rand district municipality.

The initiative aims to deploy more than 30 000 ha of privately owned land in the West Rand for agriculture and agribusiness purposes, which is meant to bolster the local economy through vertically integrated, farm-to-plate operations and circular economy, as well as high-value labour-intensive cultivation.

Bokamoso encourages interested parties to send an email to info@gifa.co.za to access more information and to express interest.

MORE BACKGROUND
Sibanye and its partners are contributing the 30 000 ha of arable land to the venture, which runs 50 km north to south and 30 km east to west. The companies will also provide built infrastructure such as warehouse and training facilities.

Some existing facilities will be repurposed so that the initiative can support the participants and provide value addition opportunities through agroprocessing and distribution activity.

Bokamoso is driven by a coalition that was initially conceptualised through the Mining Phakisa and integrates pre-existing initiatives that are being driven by the founding principles.

The Public Investment Corporation is also part of the initiative as anchor investor.

Should the entire area be converted to high-value and labour-intensive agriculture, it will represent an estimated investment of about R15-billion.

Ultimately, the initiative aims to diversity the local economy in the West Rand and create sustainable employment opportunities by building a post-mining economy in a region where gold production has been on a declining trend for a number of years.

The western Gauteng agri-industrial cluster is actively supporting farmers that are willing to produce crops such as pecan nuts, tomatoes, carrots, berries and fruits that are more labour intensive than, for example, maize farming.

Sibanye CEO Neal Froneman previously commented that land reform initiatives have made it clear that successful commercial agri-industrial operations depend on more than just access to land alone.

In fact, he says, the level of impact is determined by the alignment and cooperation between the partners of business, local government, national government and the investment community.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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