WALMER Township residents Mathew Meintjies and Sidney Grootboom were unemployed and desperate to find some land so they could grow vegetables to feed their families, and make some money on the side.
Touched by their plight, Ward 3 councillor David Hayseldon was eager to help but he had no idea where they would find the 16 hectares they wanted.
However instead of turning the two men away empty-handed, he took them outside to the small patch of land behind his office in Main Road and asked if there was anything they could do with it.
It may not have been the 16 hectares they wanted, but it was enough to get Meintjies, and Grootboom, started.
With the assistance of Bloomingdales Landscaping and Nursery, which supplied them with compost, seedlings and advice on getting started, the duo are not only feeding their families, but also running a thriving small business by providing spinach, green peppers, carrots, beetroot, water melon, cabbage and mielies to a spaza shop in Walmer Township.
“It is hard work,” said Grootboom, “but we are used to it and enjoy doing it.”
The money they make is saved and used to buy more seedlings for their business – Amohetswe Farming Primary Co-operative.
The men would like to move to a bigger premises to give more people the opportunity to work.