Farmer Mohale hits out at the State

A frustrated black farmer has slammed the Government for failing to provide financial support to black farmers.

Stephen Mohale said many farmers who entered the industry had seen their farms collapsing because of lack of financial support.

Mohale said communities that had been given their farms back in terms of the Government's land restitution programme could not proceed with farming due to lack of provision of skills by government.

Mohale's outburst comes after he allegedly tried several times to get financial assistance from the provincial and national governments without success.

The vegetable and livestock farmer from Mamokgadi village in Bolobedu has more than 400 herd of cattle, 250 sheep and more than 200 goats that graze on a 300 hectare land.

His passion for farming started in 1979 while he was working on tomato farms in Mooketsi, outside Modjadjiskloof.

Mohale employs 145 workers, including 30 casuals who work seasonally.

He said he has been battling with the government for years to get finance to buy an extra piece of land where he could move his livestock to graze.

"Sometimes I'm forced to sell my cattle, goats and sheep to get money to buy lucerne, but this costs me too much as it is winter," Mohale said.

He said at times his livestock would cross to other farmers' land to graze as his farm had run out of grass and was no longer fit for grazing.

Mohale has threatened to sell most of his stock to reduce expenses, which means that some of the workers would lose their jobs.

Attempts to get comment from the provincial department of agriculture drew a blank.