top of page
SA Landraces with Cannabis Plants. and species-min.png

CANNABIS INDUSTRY 

BREAKING  NEWS

AmaMpondo King Warns That Local Landraces Are in Danger of Being “Hijacked”

AmaMpondo King Warns That Local Landraces Are in Danger of Being “Hijacked”

The head of the royal household in Mpondolad says local cannabis culture must be protected as 'Pondoland Gold” could be exploited by big business, leaving legacy growers in the cold.

Lubabalo Ngcukana, City Press

27 October 2023 at 10:00:00

This report was first published by City Press on 22 October 2023.


AmaMpondo King aseNyandeni Ndlovuyezwe Ndamase has urged his subjects to protect their prime asset, dagga, from being hijacked by big pharmaceutical organisations and international investors.


Speaking to City Press on Friday, 20 October 2023, Ndamase said it was important for amaMpondo to protect their own “gold”, since there were no mines in the Eastern Cape, where poverty was rife – especially in the OR Tambo region.


He said he had been inundated by big overseas companies wanting to invest in cannabis in the area, particularly in eastern Pondoland, where he was the monarch.


“A lot of interest’s being shown by people all over the world in growing dagga on our shores. It’s very expensive to grow dagga, but the good thing about it is that its profit’s even greater.


READ: Cheeba Cheeba! Cannabis school to help South Africa hop on to hemp train


“It looks as if it’s being hijacked. Even my subjects come and tell me about the challenges they encounter daily because the law makes it difficult for them to operate,” he said.

The king has been championing the growing of dagga in his land.


He said that, although growing dagga was now legal in South Africa, obtaining a licence to do so was expensive, which put indigenous growers of the plant on the periphery of something they had been doing for many years.


READ: Consumers to benefit from cannabis


Ndamase said the way the new licensing requirements were meant to benefit those with deep pockets. This was forcing his people to continue growing dagga illegally, as it was an important source of income for them.


The only way people could obtain a licence, he said, was by coming together and forming cooperatives and partnerships, so that they help each other financially.


The king said: "It’s now very expensive to grow dagga to international standards. However, while it’s clear that our people won’t stop growing it, we must encourage them to stop doing so illegally. The best way of doing that is by making the licence affordable".


He said it was important to help his subjects turn cannabis into a formal business model in order to help them overcome poverty. Growing the dagga, he said, was something they did well.


“There are people who’ve become doctors, lawyers and other important [professionals, thanks to money they earned] from selling dagga. Their parents sent them to school through dagga".


He said: "Dagga has helped to establish homes, which is why we call it ‘Pondoland gold’. This is our own asset."


He said amaMpondo needed to stay alert so that this asset was not hijacked by big industries which had no interest in uplifting his people.


He called on his subjects to register their own strain of dagga, as there were many others out there. In this way, it would be their own brand.


Explaining how expensive it was to grow cannabis, the king said one needed about R20 million to plant just 4 hectares of land.


“However, the good thing is that you get your money back in a short time,” he added.


Ndamase rules over towns such as Port St Johns, Libode and Ngqeleni.


Snoux Poswa, secretary of the Agricultural Primary Cooperative in OR Tambo, said a company in Cape Town was using the stem of Pondoland dagga to manufacture fire-resistant bricks and cement. The bricks were also mixed with lime for optimal resistance.


However, like Ndamase, he expressed concern about organisations trying to hijack amaMpondo’s livelihood instead of helping them grow their industry.


“Our plant variety’s created the problem of attracting sharks from all over the world who want to take away our business, but have no interest in developing us. That’s because our dagga has many pharmaceutical properties which help with diseases such as cancer and asthma. It even helps in veterinary medicine.


Poswa said: "For that reason, we need support to recover from our economic slumber and partially self-imposed slavery so that we can empower our people and create a brighter future".


Zimkitha Macingwane, spokesperson of the OR Tambo District Municipality, said the programme of cannabis development had begun after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s 2021 state of the nation address, in which he had announced government’s decision to develop the country’s cannabis/hemp industry.


“The provincial government appointed its department of rural development and agrarian reform to implement the programme. This plan is common, especially in the Pondoland area and some parts of Mhlontlo and King Sabata Dalindyebo.


“The province targeted two districts as the cannabis belts – OR Tambo and Alfred Nzo,” she said.

#

A year on, the Presidency's ambitious cannabis plans are yet to materialize

The Phakisa 'Non-Action' Cannabis Plan! The Presidency’s Bold Initiative Appears to Have Fizzled Out

A year on, the Presidency's ambitious cannabis plans are yet to materialize

Grain sector expresses interest in cannabis sector but is standing on the sidelines until the right laws are enacted.

Mealie Farmers: “The Cannabis Thing – We Are Watching With Interest’: Biggest Challenge is the Legal Framework”

Grain sector expresses interest in cannabis sector but is standing on the sidelines until the right laws are enacted.

Cannabis Bill one of 27 pieces of impending legislation sitting on the President's des.

Time Fast Running Out For Pres Ramaphosa to Sign. Cannabis Bill into Law Before May 29 Elections.

Cannabis Bill one of 27 pieces of impending legislation sitting on the President's des.

5.cannabiz-africa Hemp -min.png

Cannabis in South Africa: The People’s Plant

We are a civil society organisation with the interests of the existing Cannabis industry and the Human Rights of ALL citizens at heart.

WE’RE BRINGING A NEW STANDARD

We are more than just a cannabis retail company. We are about a lifestyle that promotes vitality, balance & good health.

Resources & Equipment

Explore cannabis growing equipment for growing weed at home. 

Whether you’re just starting out, or you’re looking to enhance your outdoor or indoor weed grow setup – we have the perfect range of cannabis growing equipment to match your marijuana growing ambitions. 

Find everything from LED grow lights, grow tents, fans, and hydroponic setups, to environmental equipment and controls, harvesting accessories, extraction equipment and plenty more. 

Design your ideal cannabis growing setup with high quality growing equipment available in South Africa. 

Explore cannabis growing equipment we’ve curated from reliable online suppliers in South Africa

bottom of page