Farmers: Tractor race highlights plight

2011-11-22 00:00

A KZN businessman led a 420-km “family race” on vintage tractors from Pietermaritzburg to the Free State to highlight the plight of farmers.

The trip took four days, with the tractors’ top speed of 16 km/h ensuring a leisurely journey.

Vintage tractor enthusiast Brian Calitz (56) convinced three of his daughters aged between 19 and 29, their boyfriends and a friend who is a Free State farmer to join him. Leaving last Tuesday, the convoy travelled through the midlands, Bergville and Golden Gate and arrived in Ficksburg in the Free State on Friday.

Explaining his idea, Calitz said: “What happens is that we consumers normally just eat our nice food and forget the conditions that had been faced by the farmers.

“The industry is facing numerous problems, there are farm murders and there are heavy farming conditions such as droughts that are affecting the industry that needed to be highlighted.”

Daughter Jenny Calitz said this won’t be the last time they do the journey.

“The race was fun; it was the poor man’s version of the Harley (Davidson race).”

She said next year they will drive and one of them will cycle the whole way. — WR.

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