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Blue Karoo Trust brings hope

written by Nosihle Shelembe
Over 100 employees of the Blue Karoo Trust (BKT) are able to feed their families and enjoy a better quality of life.

Established in 2006 and initially financed by its partners who used income from a guesthouse, which they ran in the Eastern Cape, BKT received financial support from various government entities.

The business has grown over the years and BKT’s farm now has a hatchery where the fish are bred, a grow-out section where the water is circulated and the fish are grown as well as a small facility where the fish are processed.

Camdeboo, which is home to approximately 50 000 people, is an area where skills development and employment opportunities are scarce.

BKT is empowering its employees as they are all required to achieve an NQF Level 1 qualification in fish farming or processing.

“The job has equipped me with skills which have helped me grow as a person and my family can also be inspired by me as I am not sitting at  home.”

 

The training focuses on theory, as well as practical lessons in fish farming and processing. Trainees also learn about health and safety, life skills, workplace skills, how to put together a business plan and a budget. 

Thabisa Zali (25) who works as a demonstrator in the training tunnel says her job has given her the courage to dream.

“This job has allowed me to have bigger dreams for myself. I want to further my studies so I can grow in my career and work in the formal sector of agriculture.

“One day I want to own my own farm. I know it won’t be easy but with the training that I have acquired on this farm, it is possible,” she added.

Her salary is helping support her family, which includes her grandmother, aunt and uncles.

Hildegarde Johnson, who also works on the farm, says she is grateful to BKT because her job makes it possible for her to provide for her family.

The 27-year-old works as a team leader in the aquaculture system where she trains people how to work with fish.

Johnson said she likes her job because she works with different people every six months and she enjoys teaching trainees.

“The job has equipped me with skills which have helped me grow as a person and my family can also be inspired by me as I am not sitting at
home.

 

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