Where synergies exist with ECRDA operations, government provides ECRDA with the requisite agency to oversee these enterprises to ensure they perform effectively and efficiently in the execution of their stated mandate.
Broadly, this mandate is mainly concerned with ensuring that rural communities able to realise their socio-economic development aspirations through the application of inspired and innovative solutions to the most pressing of their challenges.
In effect, government expects that ECRDA will guide these enterprises to a place where they themselves are able to become self-sufficient agents of economic change by galvanising, advocating and driving a sound rural economic revitalisation agenda. In this respect, ECRDA often presides over those enterprises which are wholly-owned by ECRDA on behalf of government or those where government through ECRDA has taken majority shareholding.
Agricultural Research and Development Agency
In 2013/14, the Eastern Cape Provincial Treasury instructed that all subsidiaries of entities needed to wind down their operations. This could be achieved by selling them, registering them as standalone entities or integrating them into the holding company such as ECRDA. As such, in 2014/15 the Agricultural Research and Development Agency (ARDA) which had been wholly-owned by ECRDA was integrated into the overall operations of the organisation.
By mid-May 2014 all ARDA activities were conducted under the ECRDA banner with integration being achieved by the end of the review period. All ARDA staff has been incorporated into ECRDA.
Kangela Citrus Farm
Government through ECRDA, owns 51% of the Kangela Citrus Farm. Kangela is a land reform programme aimed at empowering its 30 beneficiaries who own a citrus farm in Addo near the Sundays River Local Municipality. These beneficiaries are organised around the Kangela Empowerment Trust. ECRDA provides governance, operational and financial support to Kangela.
Ncerha Macadamia Farming
Ncerha Macadamia Farming has 300ha of macadamia nuts in a public-private partnership which has a 51% community ownership with the rest of the shares held by the private sector. ECRDA provides operational infrastructure development support.
Majola Tea Estate
Majola Tea Estate is located in Port St Johns and it is run by a workers trust on 452ha of land. When required, ECRDA provides financial support to the entity. A total of 395ha of green tea are under production
Magwa Enterprise Tea
Magwa has some 1,703ha of commercial tea plantations employing 720 people. The process of transferring Magwa shares from ECDC to ECRDA is still ongoing subject to the approval of cabinet.
A new Board of Directors was appointed consisting of two members from ECDC and two from ECRDA. These members are tasked with facilitating the business rescue process.