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Sweet harvest for citrus estate owners

The Bjatladi community in Limpopo is set to reap the benefits of its ownership of Zebediela Citrus Farm, which is under new management and has had an injection of capital.

The farm, outside Polokwane, reverted to community ownership following a successful land restitution claim.

Zebediela, once hailed as a leading citrus farm in the southern hemisphere, had been unable to meet its orders, breaching supplier contacts and failing to pay staff.

However, the beneficiaries, through Bjatladi Community Property Association, reportedly approached Tumi Mokwena, a former lawyer to EEF leader Julius Malema, to intervene and assist in finding an investor to keep the farm going.

Since then management of the farm has been taken over by Eight Mile Investments, a company associated with Cape-based fruit exporter Fruitco, which is gearing up to resume full operations.

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