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Staff Profile: Pontsho Chiloane

Pontsho Chiloane started as the Masakhane Community Farm manager and joined the Grootbos Foundation team, in November 2016.  After the initial set-up, Pontsho is splitting his time between the Community Farm and our organic Growing the Future Farm.

Pontsho grew up in the Limpopo province in the small town of Polokwane and this is where he began to learn about the world of agriculture. Whilst visiting his grandparents over weekends, he learnt to grow traditional vegetables and herbs and fell in love with the fertile Limpopo soil.   In 2008, Pontsho was in Grade 10 and recalls learning the wonder of the science behind propagation.  After completing his high school career in the Western Cape in 2010, Pontsho enrolled at CPUT to study what he loved most – horticulture.   

In 2014, Pontsho was introduced to the practical working environment and in 2015, he has appointed as head horticulturist at Springfontein Wines, where he worked closely with Hildegard Witbooi, the vineyard manager and Tariro Msayiti, the winemaker. During this period, Pontsho developed an interest in sustainability. He realized, he needed to combine his passion for horticulture with his deep seated commitment to making a difference to the community.

It was at this time, Pontsho applied and was appointed as farm manager for the Masakhane Community Farm.  Pontsho has led by example, earning himself the nickname of the General.  He has transformed the Community Farm from a sand dune to a green oasis.  We are incredibly proud of what he has accomplished on site in less than a year!     

 

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