Ownership dispute over tea estate finally resolved

Posted On Wednesday, 13 January 2010 02:00 Published by
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A dispute over the land of a tea estate, which had forced it to lie fallow, has been resolved.

By Chester Makana

A dispute over the land of a tea estate, which had forced it to lie fallow, has been resolved.

The tea plantation, which was at one point used by heavyweight tea producer Sapekoe, was out of production owing to an ownership dispute among the members of the Makgoba clan that lasted for years.

But last year MEC for agriculture Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba intervened .

Letsatsi-Duba said they had moved swiftly to find a solution that would see the plantation being able to produce tea again as soon as the documentation of rehabilitation was finalised.

The smooth-running of the plantation would be overseen by the provincial department of agriculture.

A new study had shown that the plantation had the potential of producing herbal and black organic tea.

“We all agreed that we cannot stand against development and job creation,” Letsatsi-Duba said.

“All parties have agreed to allow development to take place.”

When the tea estate was returned to the community a few years ago the trust found itself between a rock and a hard place since it was operating without funds, leading them to engage with strategic partners who also failed to revive tea production.

Sowetan has learnt that dairy companies have also expressed an interest in using the herbs to boost production.

But analysts warned that the approach used by Letsatsi-Duba was good only in the short term since it could complicate other land claims that are not yet settled.

Source: Sowetan

Publisher: I-Net Bridge
Source: I-Net Bridge

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