Well-respected Hluhluwe game and cattle farmer, Peter-John Hassard, has been elected as president of the KwaZulu-Natal Agricultural Union (Kwanalu). This follows the resignation of Jozini cotton and vegetable farmer Phenias Gumede.
Gumede stepped down as president of Kwanalu following his appointment as the vice-president of the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions (Sacau) earlier this year. Gumede also serves as vice-president of Agri SA and Cotton SA. Furthermore, he is on the board of the Lima Rural Development Foundation and the South African Cotton Producers’ Organisation. Gumede will continue to support Hassard as vice-president of Kwanalu, together with Greytown farmer, Andy Buchan.
“Gumede’s commitment to organised agriculture is a massive asset to agriculture in KwaZulu-Natal. We thank him for his selfless service in representing KwaZulu-Natal farmers and rural land users, not only at top levels in South Africa but now also internationally,” said CEO of Kwanalu, Sandy La Marque. “We are delighted to have such a committed and well-respected farmer of Peter-John’s calibre take over the reins at such a pivotal time in agriculture in our country.”
A respected leader for Kwanalu
Hassard is a respected and trusted leader among both his fellow Hluhluwe farmers and the community. Hassard and his father, Peter, a former president of the KwaZulu-Natal Rugby Union, runs a hunting outfitting company called Silversands Safaris in Hluhluwe. Hassard farms between 1 500 and 1 800 head of beef cattle on their 7 000ha family game farm, which dates back to 1919. He is the fourth generation Hassard to farm the land.
Hassard is also the chairperson of the Hluhluwe Farmers’ Association, vice-chairperson of the KwaZulu-Natal Red Meat Producers’ Organisation (RPO), director of the Zululand Conservation Trust and serves on the Hluhluwe Land Forum.
“It is an unbelievable honour and I look forward to the support of every farmer, big or small, to keep Kwanalu a leading agricultural union in South Africa. My goal as president of Kwanalu is to make sure that all farmers are on the same page. Together we are much stronger even if we have different views and outlooks. There must be a common focus for the entire agricultural sector,” said Hassard about his appointment. – Press release, Kwanalu