A BLOG DOCUMENTING THE PROJECT
Matzikama progress update:
24 May – 16 June, 2021
Covid third wave
As of Friday, 16 June there were 143 active cases Covid 19 in the Matzikama local municipality. In the last 24 hours there have been 1499 new cases reported in the province as a whole. Warnings that the third wave is gathering momentum are being made and South Africa has re-entered Level 3 lockdown
According to the latest data Matzikama currently is the Western Cape subdistrict with the third least number of cases. It seems that the precautionary measures reported in our last blog are having some effect although case are on the increase. However as with all Covid data the figures represent confirmed and reported cases. The extent of unreported/unrecorded infections remains unknown.
The Phuhlisani NPC team has continued with fieldwork during this period but has been prevented from holding planned face-to-face meetings due to the pandemic restrictions.
Research on the ground
We have been interviewing small producers involved in agriculture in Matzikama. We started recording interviews using a long and detailed questionnaire. This was designed in Google forms to mirror the national farmer registration form. You can also access a PDF version from our Open Access Resource repository.
But given that out time is very tight the interviews have proved to be too time consuming using this instrument. This has meant that we have shifted to using a condensed version in Afrikaans. A PDF version can be downloaded from our repository. We are currently seeking assistance from local farmer groups to help profile their members.
Currently many of the people interviewed report not having been captured on the National farmer registration database although there seems to be some confusion about the different types of data capture for other purposes such as Covid-19 relief grants and drought relief in the past.
Researching the economic impacts of Covid
Christoff Lombard the agricultural economist on our team has prepared the first draft of a report on the impact of the drought and of Covid on the local economy. He has had a particular focus on the key agricultural commodities produced locally and related value chains. A draft of this report will be made available next week for public input.
Information on state land holdings in the municipality
We have recently received good information on state land holdings in the area. This take us some way to developing a limited land audit – although what is actually happening on this land needs to be clarified.
Engaging with Eskom
We have had discussion with Eskom and no the topic was not load shedding but what contribution Eskom can make to the current planning process. Eskom holds land which could be potentially accessed for grazing by smallholders. The local Eskom representative has expressed a keen interest in considering how to contribute to local area land reform.
Mapping the information ecosystem
The information ecosystem is a fancy term for recording who holds what information and data and whether that data is publicly accessible and shareable. There is already some excellent analysis of the state of land information in South Africa. We are seeking to develop a more granular local scale analysis.
We have recently started to circulate a questionnaire targeting a wide range of state and non-state actors including:
In each of the five categories we have identified a range of possible information and data sets and have tried to design a quick scan methodology where respondents indicate whether they have data in a particular category and if yes what form it is in:
This sets out:
Until the next time keep safe.