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The men who watched goats

The men who watched goats

Gert Jacobie

THE mysterious benefactors of cattle and goats along the main roads of Oshakati, Ongwediva and Ondangwa were caught in the act of being kind, and their cover was finally blown.
In the last few days, animals on the communal land along Namibia’s busiest roads were mysteriously fed by two business-brothers in the Oshana Region.
Because they did not want it to be known at first, mainly because they did it solely for their concern for the cattle and goats, it was done, well sort of, clandestinely but a branded vehicle finally gave their game away.
CP Robberts and his brother, Jaco, are the owners of three branches of the franchised building materials trader, Build-it, at Ondangwa, Ongwediva and Oshakati, each doing his own thing. Last week, they decided to split the cost of a load of oat-hay to feed cattle and goats that are obviously emaciated in their area. The sight of cattle, goats, sheep and donkeys scavenging for something to eat in the communal townships is no unfamiliar sight.
However, knowing how tough life can be for these animals, the two brothers decided on a no nonsense approach to their donation.
There is no need to send the fodder through the hands of any third party. The Robberts brothers simply ordered a truckload of oat-hay and instructed their employees to distribute it where-ever they encountered “stray” animals. The employees had to offer photographic proof of their deliveries.
Before long the secret benefactors’ work came to light, when their branded trucks carrying the fodder were caught in the act of kindness.
Jaco is the owner and operator of three Build-it franchise outlets, namely Swakopmund, Oshakati and Outjo, while his brother is operating Ongwediva and Ondangwa’s branches.
CP is also a game farmer, near Khorixas. He is currently feeding his eland and other game up to 50 bales of hay-straw each day.
“There is a hundred eland and they consume more than what a 150 head of cattle can every day. My farm looks like a tarred road. We are praying for early rain. But we also cannot see the animals around here suffering like this. We had to do something and make sure it gets to where it is needed,” he said.
The two kind hearted young men are the sons of the well known Robberts-family that hails from Tsumeb, where the boys grew up and went to school. Like all descendants of the Dorslandtrekkers, they have a special relationship with the Namibian turf.
CP said he has a truckload of hay-straw on back order which he plans to distribute amongst some resettlement farmers near his own property in the Kunene Region.
They are doing it at a cost of nearly N$70 000 for 220 bales of hay, which places their donation right up there with the best individual farmers has done for their struggling co-farmers already this year. They are however not nearly the only ones who stood up to be counted when the call for help sounded.
The head-office of Build-it initiated the drought aid efforts of their franchisees by supplying and sponsoring all or part of the fodder and transport thereof. Snyman Transport is also part of the initiative. All Build-it branches were offered the opportunity to participate in this wonderful project.

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