Hopes dissipate

Sarah Gaarekwe (left) and Selina Melato, committee members of the Namatsegang Piggery Project. Photos: Teboho Setena
Sarah Gaarekwe (left) and Selina Melato, committee members of the Namatsegang Piggery Project. Photos: Teboho Setena

A small-scale economic empowerment piggery project of the Felloane Trust in Thaba Nchu, meant to give 21 traders entry into the piggery trading industry, remains a pipe dream.

This project of the Mangaung Metro Municipality, believed to be worth R1 million, has collapsed due to unknown reasons.

The unfinished project falls under Ward 41.

Despite media enquiries sent more than five days ago, neither the Mangaung Metro nor the implementing agent, Izani Projects, could provide insight into this unfinished business.

The project, known as the Namatsegang Piggery, has several beneficiaries – 17 women and four men.

Its objective was to empower the beneficiaries, who are already informally trading with pigs.

Sarah Gaarekwe, chair­person of the steering committee, said the initiative was started in 2016. The Mangaung Metro committed to funding the training of the 21 beneficiaries and construct a fully-fledged piggery facility.

She said owners on the scheme brought into the decision following advice and encouragement by the authority from the Mangaung Metro, advising the project has potential to be economically viable and sustainable to benefit residents.

According to Gaarekwe, a municipal official known to them as Mr Mosoka was tasked with responsibility to oversee the piggery initiative.

However, the official “disappeared” when problems started hampering the progress.

All the beneficiaries have been left in despair after tThe contractor, Izani Projects, abandoned construction work in June 2017.

Each of the beneficiaries own at least 12 pigs, multi­plying in number due to productive breeding. Yet they have to make use of dilapidated, self-made facilities which they have been using for several years.

The beneficiaries told Expressthat its more than a year that construction work has halted mid-June last year after the contractor (Izani Projects left in a huff.Tebogo Maseme is believed to be the managing director of the contract awarded tender to build the piggery facility which sadly has become a white elephant instead an economic catalyst in this “ghost settlement” located approximately 15km outside main section of the Thaba Nchu town.

Seven workers were reportedly employed by the contractor allege that Maseme owes them payment for work done before his “disappearance”. Maseme would not deny or confirm these allegations directed to him over monies owed to labours via media enquiry.

Selinah Melato, vice-chairperson of the steering committee, said their efforts to get answers from the authorities and Maseme were futile to getting answers since construction halted.

“As stakeholders, we need to be informed.”

  • While the roof of the facility remains intact, work to complete the floor of the internal structure is un­finished. Bricks on the walls are gradually crumbling and threatened falling anytime soon.

According to builders and the beneficiaries, there is no guarantee that the walls will last.

“Some of the pigs weigh 140 kg, and one boar weighs 180 kg. Given the nature of pigs, and their fondness of rubbing against the walls, we doubt this facility will last long,” said Gaarekwe.

According to Gaarekwe, farrowing crates, which are wide enough for sows to nurse their piglets, still need to be erected.

during the breeding. “According to the plan designed for piggery, farrowing crates must be big enough for female pigs to turn around and enable them feed piglets. All of the 21 beneficiaries were trained to ensure compliance,” says Gaarekwe.

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