KZN issues 664th hemp permit in push to expand industry

27 March 2024

By: Lebogang Mashala

The Shukasibheme Project, a co-operative in Mseleni, celebrated as it received a permit to grow hemp at a ceremony in Kwamhlabuyalingana, KwaZulu-Natal.

The MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development, Super Zuma, was met with a musical display of gratitude as he handed over the permit.

Shukasibheme has 58 members from the Magcekeni sub-ward. The cooperative has received 17 hectares from the Mabasa Traditional Council to cultivate hemp and other crops.

The Department has already spent more than R1,1 million on fencing materials, installing a borehole for irrigation water, and providing mechanisation and production inputs. The goal is to link the cooperative to the market, secure its income and create jobs for the community.

According to Mr Manzini, the Shukasibheme chairperson, there is a high rate of unemployment in the community. However, since the formation of the cooperative, many lives have changed for the better. “The permit will now allow the cooperative to become businesspeople and work closely with the Department to feed their families and create more jobs,” said Manzini.

The uMkhanyakude District has issued 38 hemp permits so far. The province now has a total of 664 permit holders.

Zuma reminded permit holders that they are bound by the law and that any misuse of their permit will result in its revocation. He also plans to meet with traditional leaders to finalise all agreements before work begins in Shikasibheme.

“We want the economy to return to the rightful hands, therefore it is imperative that we all become part of all efforts towards this vision. There is no time for laziness. We must all try to be part of the solution at all costs,” said Zuma.

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