Agri Eastern Cape works closely with a number of independent entities that deliver a service to the agricultural communities. By joining forces and working together, we are able to present a united front in promoting agriculture in the province.
Established in 1991, the Gamtoos Irrigation Board is based in the Eastern Cape town of Patensie, with satellite project offices throughout the province.
The GIB's core services include the provision and management of water resources and the management of irrigation quotas for Agri EC members and others in the Gamtoos River Valley.
Other responsibilities include the monitoring of dam levels and flood management as well as water conservation and demand management.
The Board is also involved with managing infrastructure and road rehabilitation projects as well as ecosystem services.
The GIB, which was formed under the provisions of the Water Act of 1956, is currently in the process of becoming a water user association in terms of the newer National Water Act of 1998.
Since 1999, the Gamtoos Irrigation Board has been helping the Department of Environmental Affairs to implement a range of projects.
These include the Working for Water programme, which contribute towards conservation and social upliftment through job creation in the Eastern Cape.
082 553 0947 / 042 283 0329
The Great Fish River Water Users' Association, or GFRWUA, was founded in 2000 as an affiliate of Agri Eastern Cape.
It is governed by the National Water Act and its main purpose is to manage water irrigation to the upper reaches of the Fish-Sundays River Canal Scheme, which is situated in the Cradock and Somerset East districts.
The scheme comprises a canal and tunnel system which supplies Orange River water from the Great Fish River Valley to the Sundays River Valley to supplement water supply in the Eastern Cape.
The GFRWUA protects its members' water use interests, empowers previously disadvantaged water users and manages conflict over water allocation and use.
The association also controls water bills and usage, promotes efficient water use and manages resources.
Apart from disseminating information to the public and promoting the responsible use of water, its main responsibility is to ensure that every Agri EC member receives their water quota.
083 453 8852 / 048 881 2408
The seeds of the Lower Sundays River Water User Association were sown as far back as 1883 when James Somers Kirkwood established the Sundays River Land and Irrigation Company in the Eastern Cape.
Although he did not realise his dream of a continuous water supply for the valley farmers, it would eventually come to fruition more than three decades later.
Because the upper reaches of the river were in the water-scarce Karoo, an area also prone to thunderstorm activity, the government decided that a catchment dam was needed.
In 1917, the Sundays River Irrigation Board was founded to oversee the construction of the Darlington Dam (then Lake Mentz) as the area's main supply dam.
The board's role was to ensure the continuous and scheduled delivery of water to farmers or irrigators in the valley.
In the 1970s, the Gariep Dam (formerly the Verwoerd Dam) was built on the Orange River, allowing the release of water into the Darlington Dam via a network of rivers, weirs, tunnels and canals.
Today, some 17 000 hectares are scheduled for water supply from the scheme, with over a thousand delivery points. Irrigators are grouped together in zones, with a predetermined stream size supplying each zone.
In line with the National Water Act, the irrigation board was required to transform into a water user association, which commenced operations in 2005.
Founded in 1929, the Cape Women's Agricultural Association is a non-profit organisation affiliated to Agri Eastern Cape and its sister organisations in the Western and Northern Cape.
The CWAA provides its members with opportunities for personal advancement, thereby enabling them to establish a healthy family life and attend to community needs effectively.
On the farm, members are partners in the day-to-day running of the operation and play a critical role in assisting with the welfare, social and spiritual needs of the farm workers and their wives and children.
CWAA branches meet on a monthly or bi-monthly basis and deal with topical matters including health, arts and crafts, agriculture, horticulture, public affairs, education, technology and culture.
Members enjoy a varied programme of lectures, demonstrations, discussions and exhibitions during their meetings.
The Eastern Cape branches are divided into four main circles or regions:
CWAA members are involved in a range of community programmes from recycling and green initiatives, to supporting old age homes and playschools as well as poverty alleviation projects.
The LWO Employers' Organisation has been helping agricultural employers in the Eastern Cape to comply with labour legislation since 1990.
An affiliate of Agri EC, the LWO offers specialised knowledge and assistance with matters such as employment contracts, disciplinary hearings, strikes, restructuring, retrenchments and union negotiations.
Its labour law services also extend to representation at CCMA, Bargaining Council and Labour Court proceedings.
The LWO aims to be the preferred employers' organisation on a national basis, providing 24/7 telephonic advice and proactive training.
This non-profit organisation helps to ensure the sustainability of agricultural businesses, which in turn contribute to the South African economy and create a better quality of life for all citizens.
Senior Regsadviseur, Oos-Kaap/Senior Legal Advisor, Eastern Cape
041 360 3711 / 082 304 1703