Kgalagadi community produces charcoal, feedstock from Sexanana tree

Minister Molebatsi Molebatsi
Minister Molebatsi Molebatsi

BOKSPITS: Kgalagadi South-based Boravast Trust has embarked on the production of charcoal and livestock feed using Sexanana tree (Prosopis Mesquite).

Boravast is a community trust made up of the four villages of Bokspits, Rappelspan, Vaalhoek and Struizendam. The Sexanana tree is an invasive species that has been blamed for high groundwater uptake and also causes severe allergies in humans.

Boravast charcoal and fodder business ventures were launched last year to uplift the lives of the communities living in the four villages. The communities were trained by Lake Ngami Conservation in collaboration with Kgalagadi and Gantsi Drylands Ecosystems Project as well as the Department of Forestry and Range Resources on how to produce charcoal using Sexanana. The Lake Ngami Trust is well known for producing quality charcoal.

Last week, the assistant Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Molebatsi Molebatsi launched the Boravast Trust and handed over P1 million worth of equipment for their projects.

The equipment was bought by the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA).

The equipment includes two trailers, a heavy-duty fodder processor, four chain saws, a trailer, a mounted log cutter and office furniture. LEA has also been instrumental in offering the trust members coaching, business management training and branding skills.

Commenting on the developments, LEA CEO Racious Moatshe, pointed that the organisation always aims to partner with community structures, to help with governance models, operational framework, setting up proper committee structures and effective use of allocated community development budgets.

"LEA in furtherance of its mandate identifies community projects that have potential to scale up, increase production, create employment, and diversify the economy under its ‘community development through commercialisation initiative’. “This is the case with the Boravast Trust,” he said.

According to Moatshe, community-based projects for sustainable management of natural resources remain a government priority. He said community development and commercialisation efforts can be an effective approach to employment creation and economic diversification, adding that the strength of the national economy is highly dependent on the strength of local economic activities, hence LEA’s pursuit of community development through commercialisation.

“It is only when our communities are alive with profitable and sustainable business activity, that we can say we have realised economic inclusion,” Moatshe said.

Currently, Boravast’s charcoal can be found in some Choppies stores and filling stations across the country. Individuals also buy in bulk to resell.

Editor's Comment
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