Orapeleng Mocumi started on 15 March as the General Manager of Maluti Farming PALS. Places to go to, things to do, people to see. PALS is gearing up for the road of recovery. To get to know Orapeleng a bit beter, Perspective asked him a few quick questions.
What was your journey to PALS?
I have extensive agriculture and land reform experience having worked in the sector for more than 15 years. This includes facilitating, coordinating and managing multi-stakeholder agriculture and rural development interventions across several provinces. My knowledge of land reform is extensive as I have worked a lot on land restitution, redistribution and tenure reform including various post settlement support programmes.
One of my career highlights was being appointed to develop a five-year agriculture sector strategy for local government in the Northern Cape, which included broad stakeholder consultations and was linked to the National Development Plan (NDP).
I am passionate about the development of inclusive, mutually beneficial strategic partnerships that seek to grow the value of the agricultural industry.
I hold a National Diploma and a B. Tech Degree in Agricultural Management from the Tshwane and Central Universities of Technology respectively, and also completed a Masters Degree in Development Studies from the University of the Free State. In addition, I completed a course in public relations through the University of Cape Town.
Why are you joining PALS?
When I started my professional career 15 years ago, I was exposed to a land reform programme that was exclusively driven by the state with the main objective being the acquisition of as much land as possible without much consideration given to social, economic and environmental sustainability. I learned then that this approach was flawed and that it posed a risk to the country’s food sovereignty and I started advocating for an alternative approach to land reform.
By joining PALS, I have an opportunity to contribute towards an alternative, sustainable approach to land reform that is premised on sound relationships between all categories of farmers while working together with various stakeholders, including government, industry and rural communities. Via PALS I can contribute towards a new trajectory in land reform that focuses on social cohesion, productivity and sustainability.
How are you going to handle it?
At the onset, it will be important for me to conduct a status quo assessment of Maluti Farming PALS. This will be followed by consultations with the Maluti Farming Board of Directors in order to develop the organization’s long, medium and short term goals.
I also intend to embark on a process of consultations with the broader stakeholder community. The purpose of these consultations will be to sell our vision and to solicit inputs and support from stakeholders. This will culminate in the development of a comprehensive strategy for Maluti Farming Pals (NPC).
Welcome aboard Orapeleng!