BullsFamily welcomes Clinton Swart

The Blue Bulls Company can confirm that 27-year-old Clinton Swart will join the Vodacom Bulls effective immediately.

Swart is a versatile player who is an accomplished flyhalf with a proficient boot as a goal kicker and is also more than comfortable in the midfield. He represented the Pumas at Craven Week and Under 19 level before enrolling at the University of Pretoria. His return marks a homecoming of sorts for the talented back as he represented the Vodacom Blue Bulls U21 in 2012.

The brutally effective runner turned out for the Valke before he moved to Kimberley to don the Tafel Lager Griquas jersey and it was during his stay in the Northern Cape where his hard work paid off as he was drafted into the Toyota Cheetahs Vodacom Super Rugby squad.

In 2018, he linked up with Japanese Top League outfit, Toyota Verblitz, where he was coached by the current Vodacom Bulls Director of Rugby, Jake White, and played alongside fellow Vodacom Bulls newcomer Gio Aplon.

His signing will add immense value to the backs while his ability and experience will allow the backline more room to express themselves.

White welcomed Swart to the #BullsFamily, “I do not doubt that Clinton will fit in perfectly into our plans. He is an expressive and hard-running player with an immense work rate. Having worked with him and coached him before, he knows perfectly well what I expect of him.”

‘Jake bel die Polisie’

The Vodacom Bulls are excited to welcome experienced prop Jacques van Rooyen, aka “Policeman”, who will join the #BullsFamily with immediate effect.

The 33-year-old loosehead prop best epitomises the term ‘late bloomer’ as he only signed his first professional contract with the Emirates Lions back in 2013 and blossomed into a mainstay amongst the front rowers, featuring in all three Vodacom Super Rugby finals played by the Lions.

Van Rooyen, affectionately known as the “Policeman” due to his association with Pretoria Police Rugby Club, explored his options overseas and turned out for Bath and the NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes before returning to South Africa.

Van Rooyen’s experience will also add immensely in mentoring the younger loosehead props while his effective scrummaging technique and incredible mobility will bolster the Vodacom Bulls as Director of Rugby, Jake White, continues to add firepower to his squad.


#BullsFamily bids Nonkontwana farewell

The #BullsFamily bid farewell to loose forward Abongile Nonkontwana today. The 25-year old former SA Schools and Junior Springbok joined the Vodacom Bulls after finishing his schooling at St. Alban’s College in 2014 and went on to represent the franchise at U19, U21, Super Sport Rugby Challenge, Currie Cup and Vodacom Super Rugby level.

Nonkontwana, who can also play in the second row, made a name for himself as a quality loose forward with a high work rate.

In 2018, he joined the Toyota Cheetahs where he tasted European rugby in the Guinness PRO14 before returning to Loftus Versfeld for the 2020 Vodacom Super Rugby season and featured in several matches before the COVID-19 pandemic put paid to the global rugby season.

The entire #BullsFamily wishes him all the best with his journey ahead.

#BullsFamily bids Herbst farewell

The Blue Bulls Company confirms that prop Wiehahn Herbst will leave Loftus Versfeld to join the Emirates Lions.

Herbst joined after the 2018 season and spent a year and a half in the colours of the Vodacom Bulls where his experience assisted immensely on the field and also in the grooming of some of the younger front row crop.

Director of Rugby, Jake White, thanked Herbst for his services and wished the burly front rower well with his new endeavour, “Wiehahn is an experienced prop who has learnt his trade internationally. We know he will add value at the Emirates Lions, and wherever he travels beyond that. We wish him all the best with his path ahead, and hope he grows from strength to strength.”

Herbst thanked the #BullsFamily for the memories, “My time at Loftus may have been short but it was packed with memories. Thank you for welcoming me into the #BullsFamily and allowing me the opportunity to play in the blue jersey.”


AFGRI Agri Services to construct new grain bunker in the Eastern Cape to support local farming community  

AFGRI Agri Services, one of South Africa’s leading agricultural services companies, has constructed a new grain bunker in the Eastern Cape to support the local farming community in support of Government’s vision of expanding the country’s agriculture footprint.

This is according to AFGRI Agri Services CEO, Jacob de Villiers, who says the new bunker near Butterworth in the Eastern Cape will offer state-of-the-art storage facilities for both maize and soya beans, offering storage capacity of 15,000 tons.

“This is our first commercial bunker in the province, and also the first commercial storage facility in the Eastern Cape, and we believe it will make a huge contribution to the efforts of local farmers, who will in future be able to securely store their crops without worrying about the produce rotting before it can get to market.”

The bunker in Centane, about 30 kilometres outside of Butterworth, is one of six new bunkers opened by AFGRI Grain Management recently, including the Delmas, Vaaldrift, Devon, Kortlaagte and Chelmsford Dam bunkers.

De Villiers says the Eastern Cape bunker will be managed by AFGRI Grain Management, which will employ and train people from the local community to help run operations. AFGRI Grain Management will also ensure that world-class grain management systems and procedures are put in place. An example is not only offering the storage of grains, but also the issuing of silo certificates, which can in turn be used as collateral for the farmers to secure additional funding.

The bunker will form part of the Centane/Mbashe Agricultural Initiative, a commercial dryland maize and soybean operation, which currently aggregates 2 500 hectares of communal land in rural Eastern Cape into a single commercial farming entity on behalf of 2 252 communal landowners from 34 villages. It is a joint venture partnership between these landowners and WIPHOLD. Gloria Serobe, WIPHOLD founder, says AFGRI Agri Services’ decision to enter the Eastern Cape Province is an exciting development for the province.

“The Eastern Cape is the next frontier for agricultural growth in South Africa. The area has enormous potential as an alternative growing region for South Africa’s food supply. What’s needed to support agricultural development in the region is attention to basic infrastructure, including grain storage facilities. We salute AFGRI for leading the way and investing in the future, not only of the region but also of their business.”

De Villiers said that AFGRI Agri Services is very proud to be helping to build the foundations of a strong agricultural sector in the Eastern Cape, which further includes the tobacco farming project that Lemang Agricultural Services, AFGRI’s training and development arm, is involved with, working closely with British American Tobacco South Africa.

“These endeavours are proof that committed businesses can work with Government to ensure sustainable skills transfer, create job opportunities and at the same time enhance the agricultural value chain,” he concluded.

#BullsFamily bid Visagie farewell

The Blue Bulls Company confirmed today that experienced hooker Jaco Visagie will be leaving Loftus Versfeld and will link up with the Emirates Lions.

Visagie made his first-class debut in 2013’s Vodacom Cup and went on to represent the franchise at all levels including U19, U21, Currie Cup and Vodacom Super Rugby. He earned his 50th cap for the Vodacom Bulls against the Blues earlier this year.

Director of Rugby, Jake White, wished Visagie well on his journey, “Jaco has been a loyal servant and warrior for the #BullsFamily for ten years, and has given his best in that time. I wish him well as he embarks on this new chapter in his rugby career at the Emirates Lions.”

Visagie thanked the #BullsFamily for backing him, “It’s been an amazing journey, to say the least, filled with highs and lows, and I’m sincerely grateful for the opportunities that I have been granted at Loftus. I’d like to thank my teammates, the management, the staff, and everybody else that’s contributed to my career thus far. I’m excited about the next step, and look forward to the journey ahead.”

#BullsFamily bids farewell to Odendaal

The Blue Bulls Company today confirmed that center Burger Odendaal will be departing the #BullsFamily. The 27-year-old, who also captained the Vodacom Bulls earlier this year, will be making his way across the Jukskei to neighbouring franchise, the Emirates Lions.

Odendaal started his professional career at Loftus in 2012 making his debut in the Vodacom Cup a little before turning 20. He is also one of the few current players to have surpassed the 50-cap mark in both Vodacom Super Rugby and Currie Cup.

Jake White, Director of Rugby at the BBCo, thanked Odendaal for his contributions and wished him well, “Burger has poured a lot of himself into the #BullsFamily over many years, and for that we are eternally grateful. He is a great guy that has had an impact on many players at Loftus, and I have no doubt that he will do really well at the Lions. We sincerely wish him all of the best with his career going forward.”

Odendaal humbly bid farewell to players and fans, “It is with a heavy heart that I bid farewell to the #BullsFamily. It was an honor to call Loftus home for the last nine years and I want to thank each and every one who had an influence or part to play in my journey. I will cherish the good memories and hope that I have made lifelong friendships. All the best, stay safe.”