Tea venture for Eastern Cape

2011-08-04 07:24

The Eastern Cape government has set aside R1.5 million to kickstart an expanded honeybush tea industry.

This followed on results that emerged from a study of the honeybush industry, commissioned by the Coega Development Corporation (CDC), The Herald reported.

CDC spokesperson Senzeni Ndebele said that R1.5m had been invested by the department for the first phase of the project, which was already under way.

“The honeybush tea in the Eastern Cape grows wild in Kouga and Koukamma municipalities, and these are the areas that will benefit immensely.”

Phase 1 would focus on expanding the existing wild harvesting in the Langkloof and proposed controlled access to some of their protected areas.

It also focused on establishing a honeybush tea plantation, Senzeni said.

“This phase should be completed by the end of this year.”

Honeybush tea was uniquely South African and grew only in the fynbos areas of Western and Eastern Cape.

Marlise Joubert of the Agricultural Research Council in Stellenbosch said she and her team were working closely with local authorities in the western and eastern Cape to ensure better control to protect wild honeybush as a resource.

Kouga Municipality spokesperson Laura-Leigh Randall said that local authority was very pleased and excited with the results of the study.

“It complements the priorities of our new council – namely rural development and job creation.”

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