Agribusiness, Food, Wages

:: Food & Wages

By: The Hanglip Bloggers


"every fiscal conservative is hiding their copy of Ayn Rand and is lining up for benefits from the nanny state"

Ricardo Salvador:

“Emancipation never really came to agriculture, in the sense that we still don’t pay the full value of the labor that’s required to make the entire system work.

There’s a phenomenon that all of us are observing at the moment that…. We could make this a political conversation, and I will try to steer away from that. But the fact is that policy is involved, and the phenomenon that I’m referring to is the phenomenon that’s known typically as the fog of war. When you have a major crisis that is absorbing the public’s attention, this is a prime time to try to push through policy goals that normally would just be completely intolerable, unpalatable, to the public.

Wealth Creation

:: Saving & Stokvels

By: The Hanglip Bloggers


The simplest creation of wealth is by way of a piggy bank. Setting aside a coin or two for a “rainy day” is fine when you have have a surplus of coins, but not easy when things are tight. All of us do this more easily together than we do singly. Surely, that is how a stokvel came about. Committing to save with others brings about the need to comply, to “not let anyone down”. “Stokvels” (known in the West Indies as “loan clubs”) are a good example of how much easier it is to save “together”.


In the factory of a large multinational corporationin Harlesden, London, a high percentage of the unskilled workforce were West Indies immigrants. As happens in immigrant situations, a few started out, and over time, pulled more and more of their countrymen and women into the firm. The immigrant population grew. Over years, some married, had children, and found the need to buy houses once they knew they would get permanent residence in England.

Work Semantics

:: Working Words

By: The Hanglip Bloggers


We get our word “do” from Latin. I was taught that it meant “give” - as in DOnate, whereas it has strayed through centuries in English to mean the opposite of idleness. I prefer to think of it as meaning both “do” and “give”. When I work for somebody, it feels better to know I am “giving” my employer something, rather than merely killing time. Just as surely, when idle, I can’t be giving at all. That said, idleness has its place. Bertrand Russell wrote In Praise of Idleness, not intending “salaries for idlers”!

In the same way, the words that came into our language courtesy of the Industrial Revolution are growing boring and tiresome. Take “manager”. The root is also from Latin: “manus” is a hand, and I suppose we must believe that managers “handle” things. Usually, they “manipulate”. Their task became to wheedle ever more work out of people, calling this “productivity”. If ever a word needed to be “decolonialised” it is that one!

For a long time, managers came from the ranks - after proving themselves “on the job”. That didn’t always make them good managers (see Dr Laurence J Peter, The Peter Principle). However, they were more effective than now in one sense: they were not asking others to do something they themselves could not do.

When managers were no longer expected to perform what they expected from others, but rather “specialise” in management, respect was lost and it all began to unravel. It is difficult to respect someone who can’t do what s/he is asking you to do.

Waterless Toilets

:: Where to WC?

By: The Hanglip Bloggers

Chemical toilets are possible: most are not too bulky, but we are left with a chemical disposal problem: the effluent must be disposed of at disposal points, meaning that we would need to take smelly, chemical effluent to the dorp. Even if Colesberg has such a disposal point, we are not considering this, preferring to somewhow work with nature.

We looked long and hard at retrofitting our buildings with composting toilets, concluding it is too difficult: too much bashing down of walls, excavating concrete, digging floors. We need to look at something else.



By: The Hanglip Bloggers

The Hantam Community Education Trust Second Covid–19 report – 13 May 2020

We are in our 49th day of lockdown and are finding it hard to keep our spirits up. There is a strong need to interact physically, at a distance of course, to hear each other’s voices, to see each other’s faces, to connect with our learners, our mamas, our babies. What this lockdown has high-lighted is how close a ‘family’ we are. We have so many plans and creative ideas waiting to be implemented. The lockdown is beyond frustrating, but we do understand the rationale behind it.

On the positive side we are confident that the 30 farms we work with are Covid–19 free and are happy to report that both employers and employees are behaving with great caution and responsibility. The Community of Karoo Nomads, whom we assist with food parcels, are happy and healthy and have most certainly benefited from the ban on alcohol and tobacco. There is a noted improvement in our community’s health and family interactions, a direct result of no alcohol abuse, far less consumption of junk food and a real awareness of a healthy life style. Our challenge going forward will be to make sure that the good habits enforced during lockdown will continue.

Level 4 ahoy!

:: Lockdown Level 4

By: The Hanglip Bloggers

It appears Hanglip will return to business as usual in a few days. Wool sales will presumably go ahead, travel will be eased, though we can’t yet expect to reach Bloemfontein (no inter province travel). Hey, de Aar, here we come …

We hear there is snow in Lesotho today (a couple of hundred kilometres away, as the crow rides a bicycle), so no wonder it is nippy here on the farm.

We are closer and closer to some of our Old Land regeneration projects, wanting to clear and plant by latest October.

HCET Lockdown

:: HCET Lockdown

By: The Hanglip Bloggers

The Hantam Community Education Trust Lockdown report as at 6 April 2020

We do indeed find ourselves in extraordinary and stressful times. There is so much uncertainty, especially if the lockdown is extended.

How are we facing the challenges that this imposes on the work of the trust and all its beneficiaries:

The school, ECD and Effective Parenting Programme are all on lockdown. This is very worrying for us as our children are not able to work online, should the lockdown be prolonged the challenge of catching up is even greater. It is extremely challenging for many of the students to work from homes where parents are not literate. Where we are able, we have encouraged farms and older literate siblings to play a supportive role, concentrating only on Maths and English. Our library is accessible on Wednesday mornings, (when the clinic is open) books can be taken out by the parents and children. Our greatest concern is for the children who attend the Trust school from town. The reality is when schools re-open, many of the town parents will be unable to pay for their children’s transport; our fear is that these children could well drop out of school.

Lockdown Lessons

:: Lockdown Lessons

By: The Hanglip Bloggers

The Skuur (Shearing Shed) has always doubled as a culture and learning centre. During Lockdown, we cobbled up a few computers to enable some learners from the staff hamlet to socialise online, and to hone their English and Algebra skills.


:: WI WI

By: The Hanglip Bloggers

We apply the term ‘WI WI’ to the ideas bounced around on the stoep, in vehicles, anywhere we get a moment to address the wonders of the world, and especially of the farming world.

For a while, we called it WIskunde, then WIld Idea Society, but the essential point is that WI stands for ’Wild Ideas’!

What is there to life, if we can’t bandy about a few ideas, toss a melt of old world and new tech into the mix?

Hanglip Associates

:: Hanglip Associates

By: The Hanglip Bloggers

These online pages serve to acquaint our Associates (especially during COVID–19 Lockdown as at the time of writing) with developments on the farm.

We added a page assessing our progress in terms of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. See SDG on the Navigation Tab.

We are mulling over plans to regenerate worked out old crop lands (though no-one would believe, after our good rains, how sombre these lands looked only a month ago). Plans vary from job creation to soil and plant regeneration, involving both planting and small livestock.

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