Philippi livestock farmer can’t find land

Siyavuya Khaya
Sibawu and his son standing next to the only sheep he has left on his property soon to be transported to Saldanha. Photo by Siyavuya Khaya.
Siyavuya Khaya

A Philippi family is desperately looking for somewhere to keep their goats and sheep after being told they can no longer keep them in the area they have farmed for ten years.

Cebisile Sibawu, 60, said that the Cape Town health department had told him to remove his 30 sheep and 12 goats from his home after neighbours complained.

“The letter I received from the department stated that I should remove my goats and sheep because I don’t have permission to farm my livestock in my residential area.”

He said he took the matter to court hoping for an amicable solution, but lost the battle.

Sibawu said no-one in his family had a job and he and his wife, their five children and four grandchildren were dependent on the livestock. He had tried to persuade relatives in Cape Town to keep the livestock but they had refused, saying they also did not have permission.

He had decided to send them to a friend of his brother in Saldanha who also had goats. But during the day when the man was at work no-one looked after the livestock.

“At the beginning of the year, I had 28 goats when I took them to Saldanha. I have lost 16 goats as there is no one in Saldanha that looks after them on a daily basis.”

Some of the goats killed by dogs in Saldanha. Photo by Siyavuya Khaya.

Sibawu said budding farmers should be provided with land.

Mayoral Committee Member for Health, Councillor Siyabulela Mamkeli said Sibawu had kept livestock on his property measuring 165 square metres in a residential area. The neighbours had complained in January 2014 that the animals were damaging boundary fences, defecating and destroying trees and a vegetable garden that was used to feed TB patients at a local clinic.

Sibawu had failed to respond to notices and the City had had no option but legal action, Mamkeli said.

He said the livestock had finally been removed after five court appearances. The City had also instructed Sibawu to remove the manure from his kraal.

Mamkeli said Sibawu should consider a part of the City zoned for agricultural purposes, such as Schaapkraal.

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