Livestock invasion raises hackles
Property owners angry but farmers need grazing, writes Tremaine van Aardt
Stray livestock invading private properties in Nelson Mandela Bay is causing rising tension between homeowners and emerging urban farmers who are struggling to find grazing areas for their animals.
The stand-off, which spans several years, has recently escalated, with a handful of residents taking matters into their own hands to rid their properties of what they describe as nuisance cattle, pigs and goats.
An ugly confrontation and a charge of assault were triggered after a well-known businessman shot a cow on his property last month.
According to the municipality’s audited livestock numbers, 3 600 animals – representing a recorded 80% of the estimated total – roam the metro, with the figure broken down into 2 437 cattle and 1 163 goats.
More than 50 stray cattle were impounded by the municipality last month, which left urban livestock farmers asking where they should take their animals.
Municipal spokesman Mthubanzi Mniki said the problem with stray cattle was predominately centred in and around Uitenhage, where 41 of the 51 impounded cattle were rounded up last month.
Mniki also identified the R75 at Despatch, Uitenhage Road, Old Cape Road, Stanford Road and areas surrounding the Port Elizabeth Airport as having heavy livestock traffic.
He said 20 farming commonages had been allocated for emerging farmers on the outskirts of Uitenhage.
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