WIPHOLD, South Africa’s premier black-women owned investment and operating company, is pleased to announce its investment in a key strategic grain storage business along with AFGRI Group Holdings, STANLIB Infrastructure Investments and the Land Bank.
This follows AFGRI’S decision to create the vehicle, AFGRI Grain Silo Company Proprietary Limited (‘’AFGRI Grain Silo Company’’), with the objective of expanding AFGRI’s current storage capacity of some 4,7 million tons to six million tons in the near future.
The vehicle’s aim is to enable the growth of grain storage capacity in South Africa and on the continent and to strengthen food security in the region. It will initially own storage facilities with a total value of R3.6 billion at inception. WIPHOLD’s shareholding in the company is 25%.
WIPHOLD’s founders Louisa Mojela and Gloria Serobe explain that the investment fits squarely within WIPHOLD’s decision in 2014 to begin exploring opportunities in the agricultural sector.
“This decision was motivated by two key drivers — firstly, a positive in-house view on the growth and investment prospects of the sector and the key role it can play in enhancing South Africa’s economic prospects; and secondly that the agricultural sector is key to addressing many of South Africa’s transformational challenges. Agriculture can, with the right interventions, play a significant role in addressing poverty, inequality and food security,” said Mojela
It was with this pivotal role in mind that in 2014, WIPHOLD initiated a maize and soya bean operation on 2 365 hectares of communal land in the Mnquma and Mbashe districts of rural Eastern Cape. The operation is a partnership between 2 229 communal landowners from 33 villages and WIPHOLD.
“Our investment in the AFGRI Grain Silo Company sees WIPHOLD broadening its focus along the agricultural value chain to include not only primary production but also grain management, both of which are critical to ensuring food security in South Africa,” said Serobe.
Mojela adds: “We are particularly excited to be partnering with such reputable institutions as AFGRI, STANLIB and the Land Bank. We focus on partnering with the best and AFGRI is a market leader with impeccable management. We are therefore also very happy that AFGRI will manage the storage facilities on behalf of AFGRI Silo Company.”
“We strongly believe that the agricultural sector can play a significant role in turning South Africa around and are passionate about participating actively in the sector to help make this a reality,” said Serobe.