Commonage land audit promised

[caption id="attachment_204336" align="aligncenter" width="630"] URBAN DANGER: Roaming cattle graze near Port Elizabeth’s busy Buffelsfontein Road
Picture: EUGENE COETZEE[/caption]

A land audit to address the longstanding issue of stray livestock and urban farming will be done by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.

This follows the shooting of 11 head of cattle in Uitenhage earlier this month. Kruisrivier farmer Carlo Voigt, 37, allegedly shot dead eight of the animals and wounded three others.

He faces charges of malicious damage to property, contravention of the Animal Protection Act and the illegal discharge of a firearm.

Mayor Athol Trollip said yesterday the municipality would start auditing commonage land pockets in a bid to accommodate livestock belonging to small-scale farmers.

The audit would also check livestock numbers in the city.

But Trollip warned that if there was a shortage of land, the municipality would engage with smallscale farmers to either sell livestock or find alternative land themselves.

“We need to decide and discuss with all stakeholders what can be done,” Trollip said.

“We will audit all land available that is held for commonage.” Trollip said the municipality did not have the capacity to impound stray animals. “Stray animals in this city are a problem, ” he said.

“We don’t have enough capacity to deal with them. “We only have one pound, in Uitenhage, which can only take 35 livestock.”

Trollip also condemned the shooting of the cattle.

“That behaviour was absolutely unacceptable.

Nobody in this city has a right to destroy somebody’s wealth,” he said.

“But the same applies to the livestock owners – they don’t have a right to allow their livestock to roam around and destroy somebody’s property. “This [yesterday] morning I met with Sanco leaders from Uitenhage.

“I was told the tragedy is that the family recently lost their parents and some of the children are still at school. “The whole family investment was wiped out in one evening.” Trollip said the city would assist the family with trauma counselling.