VKB places a high premium on training and developing its staff. In October 2014 a group of 48 staff members embarked on the NBP and BOP programmes of the University of the Free State. After deliberations with the university these programmes were facilitated on Reitz.

Weeks of studies followed and lots of time after hours were dedicated to complete papers to be handed in before deadlines. After the exams stress levels reached boiling point until the results came and with a sigh of relief the programmes were passed with flying colours.

The highlight for these “students” was the graduation ceremony at the university itself. A special bus was organised to transport the staff members and they were very excited before their departure to Bloemfontein. At the graduation ceremony they received their certificates to crown a year of dedicated hard work.

VKB performed brilliantly and at the ceremony four of the VKB staff members were honored with awards. To put this into perspective: Only five awards were made. All students who are enrolled at the Business School in a particular year are considered for these awards. In the BOP programme 147 students were enrolled and 43 students were enrolled for the NMP programme.

VKB was also mentioned as a strategic partner of the university’s Management School, and also for the way that VKB is dedicated to the development of its people, the inputs that are delivered and the way the programmes are administered. Other role-players that entered students were the Free State Department of Health, the Northern Cape Department of Health, TWK, Free State Agriculture, Eskom and the Free State Department of Education to name but a few.   

The top performer in the NBP programme was Christina Becker and Heidi de Winnaar was the runner-up. In the BOP programme Sunette Hechter was the top student with Alida Lange in the second place.


Since staff members don’t really spend free time with colleagues, the silo manager at Daniëlsrus decided to have a teambuilding day in Clarens for her staff which included silo operators, general workers and tea staff who could bring their families on this outing, playing soccer and having a braai. 

“On Daniëlsrus we work together as one team. Personally I think I have the best staff and I am very proud of them,” says Tilla. 


This year VKB once again were one of the sponsors of the Free State Agriculture Young Farmer Congress held in Bloemfontein on 21st April. Francois Swanepoel, executive manager of VKB Agriculture, and Annele Swemmer, public relations officer of VKB, attended this spectacular event.

Mr DJ van der Linde was awarded the title of Free State Agriculture Young Farmer of the Year. Mr Van der Linde is 31 years old and has been farming on St. Helena in the Vierfontein district for the past eight years. 

Since 2012 Van der Linde has been expanding his farming activities, refined his planting techniques and started managing his crops with more precision. 

The Young Farmer Congress was presented for the 20th time this year. The other finalists in the run for the title were PJ Badenhorst and Hendrik Heyns. 

“The title is a huge honour and it tells me that people believe in me and what feels right to me also seems right to them. It is a nice feeling to know that you are providing the country with food,” said Van der Linde.


Spex Optometrists contacted VKB to offer an opportunity to staff members who do not belong to a medical aid fund to have their eyes tested free of charge to find out whether someone needs to get prescription glasses to enhance their sight. 

During February business units were visited and the VKB staff members were eager to grab this opportunity. Up to now about 143 employees will receive glasses. This beautiful initiative will be extended to the other VKB businesses as well as to Limpopo.


A need was identified in the Memel/Zamani community to have a local school where children can get to know God and get an education, to support children and to help them onto the right path.

Currently 52 pupils are attending the Kingdom Kids School – from the age of three up to Grade 4. These children are divided into four classes.

When the school was opened in 2014 by Inet Geldenhuys, a local farmer’s wife, there were nine kids and one teacher. In 2015 the “big school” opened its doors where children from Grade RR were also taken in. Lots of enquiries and interest lead to the decision to create a Grade R class. As part of the Dumisani feeding scheme it was realised how big the need really was – not only in terms of physical needs, but also on spiritual level. Memel/Zamani is a small community and the school makes a huge difference in families with everything that they do. And to top it all the need for God’s gospel is also spread within the community.


During an information session on 24th May in Reitz, about 60 emerging famers were given the opportunity to gain information about the partnership between VKB, Land Bank and the farmer.

Huge progress was made to make financing via Land Bank available to emerging famers in the VKB and NTK service areas. The contract was signed at the end of February 2016 and was a joint venture between Transformation (BEE), Financing and Developing Agriculture.

Dan Kriek encourages farmers by saying: “The country needs inclusive growth. We need partners and we need to trust each other.”  

According to Ronney Tsabalala, agriculturist at VKB, farmers must choose to take a chance otherwise their lives will never change. Faith, hope and trust must be lived to the full.

It was explained to the farmers how to apply for financing as well as all the risks and uncertainties that accompanies it.


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