Fourteen years ago, the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) set up Magwa Enterprise Tea, as a State-Owned Enterprise to provide oversight, manage and operate the tea estate in Lusikisiki, located on the eastern part of the Eastern Cape Province.
Magwa is the largest tea estate in South Africa, and possibly South of the Limpopo, and consists of 1,703 hectares of commercial tea plantations and 100 hectares of smallholders’ tea plantations.
A separate tea estate – Majola – consists of approximately 600 hectares of commercial tea plantations. Majola has a considerably smaller factory.
A Business Plan to provide ensure the two estates’ profitability and long-term sustainability has been completed. In this plan, Majola has been incorporated into Magwa to have a combined, more efficient single enterprise.
Both estates form part of a greater Lambasi area – totalling over 10,000 hectares – which provides opportunity for lucrative diversification into other agricultural crops such as macadamia and avocado. The land on which the tea estates are located is owned by the local communities; the estates – through a community participation arrangement – have leased the land.