President Jacob Zuma and Eastern Cape MEC for Rural Development and Agrarian Reform (DRDAR) Mr Mlibo Qoboshiyane and Executive Mayor of Alfred Nzo District Municipality will on Friday, 31 March 2017, launch the Mbizana Rural Enterprise Development (RED) Hub at Dyifani village in Mbizana, Eastern Cape. The Mbizana RED Hub is one of the four RED hubs in the Eastern Cape, implemented by DRDAR’s agency, the Eastern Cape Rural Development Agency (ECRDA) and covers six wards which constitutes 14 villages in the Mbizana Local Municipality, Alfred Nzo District Municipality.

These wards have registered 14 primary co-operatives that have then formed a secondary co-operative which is a structure that owns the RED Hub. A total of R53.5 million has been invested in establishing and operating the Mbizana RED Hub. The funds for this initiative have been provided to ECRDA by the Eastern Cape Provincial Treasury and ECRDA is implementing the initiative.

The RED hubs create a platform for economic activity in a rural area resulting in: • increased rural incomes through the facilitation of primary production, processing of outputs, creating a communal and external market and linking the various types of primary production (maize, meat, etc.) to efficient value chain system. • promotion of rural savings and investment as money remains within the community, The Mbizana RED Hub planted 986 ha in 2014/15 crop production season at 13 primary cooperatives. The total white maize yield that was bagged was 317 tons and 226.5 tons was sold to Mqanduli RED Hub.

In 2015/16 crop production season, there were only 488.1 ha planted land with white maize. This was attributed to the dry and hot drought conditions that affected the entire country. In 2016/17 crop production season, there is approximately 1459 ha planted land with white maize. Primary Co-operatives received R6.4 million subsidy for mechanization operations from DRDAR and they took a loan for production inputs.

In 2015/16 DRDLR assisted primary co-operatives with production inputs. The department also supported primary production with fencing of all the arable land that is currently being used for maize production and with two Crop Interns. Date: Friday, 31 March 2017 Time: 09h00 Venue: Mbizana Local Municipality, Mbizana, Dyifani village, Eastern Cape. For RSVP and media accreditation process, please contact the following people: Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform Ms Nonkoliseko Msutu 082 771 7246