Public Administration News
||South Africa: Innovative Partnerships in Service Delivery
||Mail & Guidance Newspaper
||Tuesday, November 26, 2013
ICT for MDGs, Citizen Engagement
||Nov 26, 2013
Animal health programme at Rust de Winter Communal Farming Area
Livestock husbandry is one field of agriculture that requires people who are highly knowledgeable and financially resourced.
A group of previously disadvantaged farmers in Rust de Winter, north of Pretoria, faced numerous challenges when managing their livestock.
These mostly related to a lack of knowledge, funds and resources.
The answer came in the form of an innovative partnership that initiated an animal health programme to partner with and assist previously disadvantaged farmers in Rust de Winter.
The animal health and livestock improvement components offered a variety of services, such as vaccinations, treatment of diseases, record keeping, skills transfer and raising awareness on the economic importance of livestock.
The programme brought major improvement to the livelihood of the community in the form of local economy growth and development, poverty alleviation, job creation and skills transfer, particularly to youth and women.
The department’s veterinary services division, which plays a key role in the programme, is responsible for disease control and livestock improvement for previously disadvantaged farmers.
The sub-directorate of primary and animal health has been mandated to deliver services in the form of management and dissemination of information and training of farmers.
What is innovative in the project is the introduction of an animal identification system that uses electronic ear tags.
Each animal has an ear tag with a unique electronic identification number.
All health records are captured on a stock card and uploaded to a computer.
The electronic ear tagging system helps to improve record keeping of livestock numbers, animal health activities and the implementation of an effective livestock management programme to monitor productivity.
The novelty of the project is in the effective partnership and collaborative approach to problem solving that includes the farming communities and other stakeholders.
Role players in the project include the Gauteng veterinary Services and farmers in rust de Winter working in collaboration with students and veterinarians from the University of Pretoria as well as pharmaceutical companies, such as MSD (formally intervet), Virbac, Pfizer and Onderstepoort Biological Products.
All participants in the project benefit: students receive training from the University of Pretoria and pharmaceutical companies market their products while honouring their social responsibility requirements.
The departments of land reform, water affairs and rural development got involved in infrastructural development (boreholes, fencing, roads, electricity and more).
Rats’ cages project
Alexandra township has experienced major health challenges as a result of rodent infestation for a while.
This challenge came about when passages and/or streets between the brick-and-mortar houses meant to divide houses were used to construct informal dwellings.
With time, the number of residents increased — eventually totalling 500 000.
This led to overcrowding that in turn resulted in constraints of essential services, such as refuse removal and maintenance of sewerage systems in Alexandra.
The aims of the rats’ cages project are:
• Creating a hygienic, safe and clean environment that will ensure prevention of rat infestation and related diseases;
• To educate Alexandra township and surroundings communities on good hygiene practices and proper domestic waste disposal; and
• To reduce rats bites complaints reported
The rats’ cages project involves the use of cages to trap and hold rats prior to transporting them to the gas station where they are eliminated.
The cage design used in the project at Alexandra township is an innovative idea because it’s different from other rat or bird cages.
Jack Mafarane Seed Growers
It is common knowledge that crops that are planted from recycled uncertified grain tend to be prone to a variety of diseases.
However, most local farmers find themselves having to plant mixed seed varieties in one field mainly because of the high cost of certified seeds.
As a result, crosspollination causes certified seeds to produce poor results.
The Jack Mafarane Seed Growers project was started with a number of objectives in mind: exposing farmers to a new commodity initiative of dealing with certified seed production, encouraging other farmers to venture into new farming enterprises, ensuring that small-scale farmers are capable of producing their own seeds (even under dry-land conditions), which is of a quality such that it can be sold.
The Jack Mafarane Seed Growers project is a trailblazer in the province of Limpopo insofar as the production of certified white open-pollinated maize seeds is concerned.
In the project, local farmers were trained in maize seed production and soil fertility management.
They were also trained in soil and water conservation to prevent soil erosion.
They learnt many methods of preventing soil erosion, such as using sand bags, vertiver and storm drain contours, and many other vital crop management methods.
Farmers were also trained on how to process maize seed including weighing of seeds according to seed mixing machine capacity, labelling of packets, measuring of chemicals, sealing and packaging.
Farmers were linked with ARC Engineering section and they participated in designing the ripper planter to be constructed.
The Joburg Landfill Gas-to-Energy Project
People living in areas situated near landfill sites have been exposed to highly hazardous conditions as a result of landfill gas.
Landfill gas is created when organic waste in solid waste landfill decomposes.
Most landfill gas comprises about 50% methane and 50% carbon dioxide as well as small amounts of other organic compounds.
Odours caused by high gas concentration are unpleasant. In addition, methane is highly combustible and hazardous.
It is for this reason that the City of Johannesburg started a project to help manage landfill gases and to reduce greenhouse gases that have a bad effect on the environment.
In the project, the City undertook to comply with operating licence conditions and safety conditions.
The Joburg landfill gas-to-energy project uses new innovative technologies that enable the City to develop green projects out of what is generally considered waste.
The project is unique and innovative to the City of Johannesburg because it provides answers to several environmental challenges in one go.
It has two key elements.
The first is a general method to manage landfill gases emitted as a result of the decomposition of waste at the landfill, which affects the environment adversely and increases health and safety hazards around the landfill sites.
The second element is the deve-lopment of a clean development mechanism to comply with the Kyoto Protocol requirements and allow for additional revenue streams for the City as well as meeting the City’s long-term strategic goal of shifting to a low-carbon economy as detailed in the Joburg 2040 strategy.
Two landfill sites accumulated 90 000 carbon credits with the burning off of harmful methane gases.
Plans are underway to sell the electricity generated from the landfill sites. The project will cover six landfill sites. Qualitative air studies have already shown that the project is reducing harmful chemical emissions and landfill odours in the area.
The project also offers alternative fuels that can provide household gas, which can be bottled and sold to customers.