City of Ekurhuleni invites bids for farming leases

Ekurhuleni farming bids: Parcels of land in Erkhuleni is open to those who wish to conduct agricultural activities. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

Parcels of council-owned land in Ekurhuleni is open for long-term leasing to farmers or prospective farmers. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

The City of Ekurhuleni has invited proposals from interested organisations to conduct agricultural activities on parcels of council-owned land.

The programme will see successful bidders being awarded municipal farms to lease for a period of nine years and 11 months.

A member of the mayoral committee for finance and economic development, Nkosindiphile Xhakaza, said the city has opened the bidding process in an attempt to establish a permanent urban and near-urban agricultural base to ensure a local food source for the local economy.

“We intend to provide opportunities for community economic development by creating jobs and meaningful work for the local community. We also want to reduce the volume of agricultural imports by providing locally grown, produced and sold foodstuffs, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions related to food transportation, and helping to reduce the impact of climate change,” Xhakaza said.

Xhakaza said the city is going to partner with organisations to pilot and implement sustainable agricultural practices and programmes on municipal farms.

“We are going to partner with individuals and organisations to develop innovative, educational programming that focuses on themes on sustainable urban agriculture, including sustainable farming and food security practices.

“We have different categories of farms varying in size: from social farms one which are less than five hectares, and social farms two which are more than 5-hectare but less than 10-hectare small-scale farms, to farms which are 10 to 30 hectares, developmental commercial farms which are 30 to 100 hectares and established commercial farms which are more than 100 hectares,” Xhakaza said.

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Community invited to tender

He urged the farming community to take advantage of this opportunity by visiting the municipal tender office at 68 Woburn Avenue in Benoni, or by visiting the website www.ekurhuleni.gov.za for more information. 

The City of Ekurhuleni has started hosting stakeholder engagement sessions to educate interested bidders on the City’s agriculture development strategy. It also provided more information and guidelines on the supply chain management process to be used when submitting proposals or bids.

The last of these sessions will be held on 25 August at the Benoni council chambers at 10:00.

Due to Covid-19 protocols, only 50 people will be allowed. The session will, however, also be streamed live on all Ekurhuleni platforms.

The closing date for bids is 31 August at 10:00.

Original article published by BizCommunity.

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