What constitutes greatness in any man?
There is a mealie farmer in the East Rand between Kempton Park and Tembisa. I know not his name, neither do I care. This feeder of the nation plants hundreds if not thousands of hectares of mealies every single year, without fail for as long as I can remember...well at least for the last 25 plus years that I have observed these fields from time to time.
Naturally one can assume, that he contributes a fair amount of money to the economy - farming today is hardly a cheap excercise. He is creating jobs and thus offering employment, purchasing all his supplies such as seed, equipment, vehicles, and contributing via wages , taxes, uif etc.
One can further assume that he is fairly successful at what he does, or else how would he manage to do it for such a long timeframe ?
However the thing that strikes me about this particular farmer, is though most of his lands are fenced off, naturally to prevent complete pilfering and pillaging of his produce. He also plants an additional significant area which is not fenced - probably around 100 hectares if I must force a guess. This non fenced area is free to the local individuals who operate micro business from it, individuals unknown to me place their cookers alongside these fields and use the fresh mealies to prepare cooked meals for the passing traffic trade. Other individuals take bags and bags of fresh mealies and load this into vehicles for distribution elsewhere. This land is located right along a major travel route that feeds into Thembisa, a largely black area, so one could risk a guess that the mealies in the bags above are utilised there.
The thing is that this farmer every single year, works this area in preparation for planting, when he does his own lands. He then plants this area when he does his own lands. He sprays pesticides on this area, when he does his own lands. And from what I have been informed, he outlays all the costs himself. This is a significant amount of money, probably in the region of a few hundred thousand rands based on around 100 hectares. If the mealies return 3 tonnes per hectare, then he is providing around 300 tonnes of free food to the local area immediately sourrounding his lands.
Is this not a fantastic gesture ?
Is this mans actions not noble ?
Does this scenario not constitue greatness in this man ?
Well done to the Motsepe's, and farmers like the one above...there does appear to still be hope in South Africa.
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