Noordgesig Farmers

On the 23 of January 2013 Dr Naudé Malan, Kyle Brand and I visited a second group of urban farmers who grow vegetables in Noordgesig, on the southern outskirts of Soweto. Their ingenious solutions to technological problems was exceptional, my favourite example was the farmers’ use of old mattress spring substructures as fencing for crop security. The ingenuity of such a choice was the ease of access to old mattresses and the fact that the spring substructure worked as a good fence preventing crop theft but without the risk of the metal being stolen for scrap. All images copyright Angus Donald Campbell.


Rainbow Nation Farmers

On the 14 of February 2013 Dr Naudé Malan, Kyle Brand and I visited a group of farmers called the Rainbow Nation Farmers in Nancefield on the southern outskirts of Soweto. This is a large farm (almost 1 hectare) on government leased land where the group have been supported by the Joburg Municipality and the Gauteng Department of Agriculture for over 11 years. We went there to meet Lerato from the Joburg Municipalities Mayoral Food Security Committee to discuss the current status of the farmers, which was far from satisfactory. As can been seen in the photographs the electric fence provided by the government to protect crops has been stolen over time by youth who sell the scrap metal for money, this has now lead to rampant crop theft in the unsecured property. In addition all the electricity isolator switches have been stolen from various power boxes, bypassing the farmers’ ingenious welded locks, by the izinyokanyoka or snakes; this term is directly translated from Zulu and is a South African term used to described the people who setup illegal electricity connections in informal settlements. The lack of power has lead to the farmers needing to manually carry water from their homes because their borehole pumps no longer operate. On top of the local theft of resources from the farmers, the government are in desperate need of land to expand a nearby cemetery and if the farmers cannot prove their farm productive, will lose their lease at the end of the year! All images copyright Angus Donald Campbell.