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Launch of the Tswelopele Farming Project

21 May 2012 Mutual & Federal
Vuyo Lee, Executive: Brand, Customer and Transformation at Mutual & Federal

Vuyo Lee, Executive: Brand, Customer and Transformation at Mutual & Federal

A new community farming project will be launched today at Bekker School, near the small town of Magaliesburg, Gauteng. This project is a collaboration between Bekker School, Kops Communications & Projects and Mutual & Federal and was established to create

Named Tswelopele, which means ‘moving ahead’ in Setswana, this three-year project was established on three hectares of land owned by agricultural boarding institution Bekker School, and the use of which was donated to the project. The project will benefit the local community by enabling it to grow vegetables and poultry, for its own needs and to be sold to the school and the wider community. Bekker School has provided water and electricity to the project as well as ongoing technical and practical support.

The project is funded by Mutual & Federal, a member of the Old Mutual Group, and is the first agricultural socio-economic development project of this nature undertaken by the company. It was selected for funding due to its alignment with the insurer’s leading role as an agricultural insurer and its strategy of supporting the socio-economic development of rural communities. Mutual & Federal has a history of supporting similar communities, and in particular has a long-standing relationship with Bekker School.

Project Manager Kopano Lebethe says the community now has a fledgling broiler chicken operation and a thriving first crop of vegetables. Before the land could be prepared for farming purposes, old piping was improved and re-laid to increase the water pressure.

When the produce is harvested an allocation will go to the families and the rest will be sold to Bekker School, parents of the learners and the wider community. Proceeds will be ploughed back into the project for the benefit of the community.

Mutual & Federal has contributed more than R1 million to this project to date.

Vuyo Lee, Executive: Brand, Customer and Transformation at Mutual & Federal, says: “This collaborative project involves a real partnership between ourselves, the school and the community.”

The CSI focus areas supported by Mutual & Federal are education, road traffic safety, crime prevention & youth rehabilitation, as well as agricultural socio-economic development. The short-term insurer also addresses social welfare and poverty relief, through staff volunteerism and donations.

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