n Farmer’s Weekly - The Drakensberger - ideal for the toughest farming conditions : promotional supplement

Volume 2016, Issue 16024
  • ISSN : 0041-848X



Getting to Sleutel Farm in a 4x4 bakkie is a slow and tortuous process. Situated about 40km from Phuthaditjhaba in the Free State, and consisting of mostly steep hills covered in rocks, grassland and ouhout (Leucosidea sericea) trees, the 180ha farm is an unlikely home for a successful beef cattle enterprise. Father-and-son team, Jakob (59) and Paul (32) Tshabalala, are adamant that the Drakensbergers they farm are the sole reason for the success of their BMZ Farmoto commercial beef enterprise. The Drakensberger and Drakensberger-type cattle thrive in the harsh terrain and climate. "We have no electricity, no running water, and almost no cattle-handling infrastructure out here," says Jakob. "The drought has been hard on our area too. But our Drakensbergers will walk many kilometres every day to find fresh grazing and springs. Then, at the end of the day, they walk back.

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