Afrikan Farms in Amersfoort, Mpumalanga, was announced winner of the Agricultural Research Council’s National Commercial Beef Producer of the Year in September. In October it received the Pick n Pay Rudd Award for being the producer with the most progress shown over the past decade. Its founder and chair is Vusi Khanyile, the retired founder and executive chair of Thebe Investment Corporation. He began farming in 2000 after he bought his first farm in Amersfoort, 270km from Johannesburg. Today Afrikan Farms owns 4,500ha in Amersfoort, and leases an additional 1,500ha. It farms cattle, sheep, maize and soya beans. “Ask any economist: the ability to produce from the land is as critical to the success of the economy as a blue-chip company in Sandton,” Khanyile says. “We don’t often think of ourselves as impactful or game changers. Yet, I can assure you, we are. We make a potent and vital part of the economy.” He was raised in a KwaZulu-Natal township, then in Soweto and the Johannesbur...

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