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South African Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry honours Marula

Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry, Ronnie Kasrils, recognised the success of the commercialisation of marula with a R321,000 cheque to Mineworkers Development Agency on 25 June 2002 at the Mhala Branch, Bushbuckridge, Limpopo Province.

"This project·has a direct impact on the livelihoods of rural people·with over 2,400 women in 42 villages earning in excess of R300,000 from the sale of marula fruit. My Department will donate a cheque in support of expansion of this very exciting project·. This initiative is in line with President Mbeki's vision about poverty alleviation and economic development," he said to a crowd of nearly 2,000 of the Bushbuckridge community, local politicians and dignitaries.

"It is my Department's responsibility to ensure sustainable natural resource management of our indigenous forests and woodlands·we promote forest enterprise development as part of our core business. This objective is achieved through forming partnerships with other stakeholders. Today we will witness the benefits of (these) partnerships," said the Minister in his recognition of the strong partnership between DWAF and Mhala Centre dedicated to sustainable harvesting and resource management.

The Minister toured the Mhala facility and marula production site, and even tasted a new sample of finished juice product that will be available in the local market within the next few months. The community of Bushbuckridge was out in number, with local dancers to entertain an enthusiastic audience.

With the inception of Marula Natural Products Pty Ltd, the growth of marula products will continue with the existing values put in place under the original project. The cheque will be used by Mineworkers Development Agency to further grow initiatives and to create successful enterprises that will sustain themselves into the future.


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