Senwes Scenario June / July 2019 - Page 30

AREA FOCUS Petrusburg The Petrusburg branch opened in 1977. Not just somewhere in the middle Most people would wonder where Petrusburg is. In his poetic voice, Elvis Blue sings of a place where he finds himself: Somewhere in the middle of nowhere. However, most people in the Free State and Northern Cape know exactly where Petrusburg can be found in South Africa. Not just somewhere in the middle, but right in the middle of the country.  By Aubrey Kruger Senwes Scenario Editor T his is true in more than one respect. Petrusburg is situated at the geographic centre of South Africa, at Emmaus, which is approximately 20 km from Petrusburg. Petrusburg is also exactly in the middle of the Free State capital, Bloemfontein, and its equivalent in the Northern Cape, Kimberley, 80 km each from Petrusburg. DIE BEGIN VAN DIE MIDDELPUNT At 127 years Petrusburg has gone through many phases. Petrusburg was founded in 1928 and was named after the owner of the farm, Petrus Albertus Venter. The area first became known as a horse and mule breeding centre, then came king potatoes, followed by Jersey cattle and diversified farming opera- tions and wheat. Also Bonsmaras, which 28 SENWES SCENARIO | WINTER 2019 Senwes producer Johan Myburgh farms with. BRANCH ALSO A CENTRAL POINT A stone's throw away from the centre of town, you will find the Hinterland branch, with branch manager Lourens Brand at the helm. Lourens tells us that the branch is 36 years old and was officially opened on 22 Auust 1983 by the former managing director of the Land and Agricultural Bank of South Africa, TC de K Pienaar. 10 members of staff work at the branch and Lourens has an interesting view about the town. He sees Petrusburg as a very strategic branch for Hinterland and Senwes. “It is basically in the middle and in a sense a barrier to entry, with all the agri-companies around them. Mechanisation-wise Senwes Equipment is a leader, with staff going out of their way to ensure customer satisfaction in respect of spares - some drive past the opposition to make use of our good service. SENWES GRAINLINK SILO Diagonally behind the branch you will find the Senwes Grainlink Petrusburg silo, with 8 members of staff. The silo was erected in 1977 and was inaugurated by the then Minister of Agriculture, Hendrik Schoeman. Commodities received include wheat, white and yellow maize and soybeans. At this stage they mostly receive yellow maize, followed by wheat and sunflower. The silo has 16 bins with a total capacity of approximately 60 000 tons -12 bins with a capacity of 4 500 tons each and 4 smaller bins of 1 200 tons each. Years ago, in 1979, wheat was deliv- ered in bags. The largest volumes of wheat in the history of Senwes was handled from 1990 to 2000. Although Petrusburg is situated at the centre of South Africa, it is the most south- ern silo of Senwes. The surrounding silos are De Brug (40 km) and Bloemfontein (80 km).