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Case study – Social investment in the Eastern Cape

Case study – Social investment in the Eastern Cape

Nominiko Tshayiso


Almost a third of Gold Fields employees in South Africa hail from impoverished rural areas in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. A significant portion of the company’s sustainability budget is therefore dedicated to these rural areas via the Abalimi Phambili crop and poultry farming project. In financial 2010 R3 million was spent in these labour sending areas, the bulk of it on agricultural development projects coordinated by the TEBA Development Agency.

Abalimi Phambili provides local emerging farmers, some of whom were formerly employed by Gold Fields, with training, mentorship, technical support and advice, access to funding and links to viable markets. For example, 45 former employees, who were medically boarded due to spinal injuries, are now poultry farmers in these areas. They are a portion of the 1,800 farmers who benefit from the crop and poultry development projects.

One of the success stories is a young woman, Nominiko Tshayiso, who has been involved in poultry farming in the Lusikisiki area of the Eastern Cape since 1997. Ms Tshayiso was identified by an Abalimi Phambili facilitator who provided her with training and technical advice and quickly noticed her entrepreneurial spirit. She was identified as the right person to develop a local hatchery for day old chicks, a project that has the support of the KwaZulu-Natal Poultry Institute (KZNPI), which initially trained Ms Tshayiso.

Ms Tshayiso has successfully grown the first part of the enterprise – supplying local farmers with day old chicks, which she sources from hatcheries in KwaZulu-Natal. She sells over 30,000 chicks and 4,800 chickens per month in the area and with the proceeds has purchased a bakkie and employs three staff in the business. The next stage of the business is to build a hatchery in Lusikisiki, though this is taking longer to complete than planned, largely due to material supply problems.

Ms Tshayiso has to juggle her new business with her chosen profession as a teacher in the area. It’s a balancing act she is performing well.