Vermeulen, Specman, Gelant back for Vodacom Bulls

Duane Vermeulen, Rosko Specman and Warrick Gelant will return to the Vodacom Bulls starting team to face the Emirates Lions in their final Vodacom Super Rugby match at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

The backline duo picked up injuries during the Vodacom Bulls tour to Australasia, while Vermeulen missed the New Zealand leg of the tour due to the World Cup rest protocols.

Coach Pote Human also had to replace injured lock Jason Jenkins and hooker, Schalk Brits, in a side that show six changes to the one that started against the Highlanders in Dunedin.

Gelant takes over from Divan Rossouw (bench) and Specman’s return is at the expense of Dylan Sage, with Johnny Kotze moving from wing to outside centre.

Andre Warner comes in at scrumhalf in place of Embrose Papier in a rotational move.

In the pack, Vermeulen’s return resulted in Marco van Staden moving back to six, with Ruan Steenkamp benched and Jannes Kirsten slotting in for Jenkins, with Eli Snyman coming onto the bench in his place.

Johan Grobbelaar will be back-up hooker to Jaco Visagie, who took over from Schalk Brits in Dunedin.

Vodacom Bulls coach, Pote Human, said the return of injured players will freshen up the squad.

“We are at a late stage in the competition and anyone coming back into the fray does so with new energy and fresh legs and that is always good. The nice thing about this weekend is that we have our fate in our own hands and do not have to worry about results elsewhere. We can go out and apply our minds to the job at hand.”

For Handré Pollard, the return to Loftus Versfeld will add something to the team’s effort.

“We are going to need every Vodacom Bulls supporter this weekend and I hope they come out in numbers to support us. We had some mixed performances at home this year, but the last couple of results show that we are getting into a good rhythm. It will be fantastic if we can qualify for the knock-outs for the first time in six years and do so in front of our own fans. Before that though, we will need an exceptional effort on Saturday.”

The team (with Super caps and points) is:  

  1. Warrick Gelant (44, 70)
  2. Cornal Hendricks (39, 65)
  3. Johnny Kotze (45, 45)
  4. Burger Odendaal (55, 30)
  5. Rosko Specman (11, 25)
  6. Handré Pollard (c; 58, 607)
  7. Andre Warner (18, 15)
  8. Duane Vermeulen (121, 50)
  9. Hanro Liebenberg (42, 30)
  10. Marco van Staden (24, 15)
  11. RG Snyman (42, 10)
  12. Jannes Kirsten (31, 10)
  13. Trevor Nyakane (106, 15)
  14. Jaco Visagie (45, 10)
  15. Lizo Gqoboka (52, 15)


  1. Johan Grobbelaar (4, 0)
  2. Simphiwe Matanzima (15, 5)
  3. Wiehahn Herbst (48, 0)
  4. Eli Snyman (6, 0)
  5. Ruan Steenkamp (19, 0)
  6. Ivan van Zyl (29, 5)
  7. Manie Libbok (16, 50)
  8. Divan Rossouw (25, 20)


Ryk geskiedenis bring sukses na De Grendel

Sir De Villiers Graaff, die vierde geslag met dié titel, is die De Grendel-landgoed se besturende direkteur. Hy het, nes sy pa, landbou op Stellenbosch studeer. De Grendel, wat naby Kaapstad teen die Tygerberg geleë is, is al geslagte lank in die Graaff-familie se besit. Hoewel De Grendel bekend is om bekroonde gehalte-wyne, is skape, ’n melkbeesstoetery en bloubessies ook deel van die boerdery. Bemagtiging is belangrik vir De Villiers en gevolglik is die familie ook by maatskaplike projekte betrokke.

Pollard back for Vodacom Bulls

Vodacom Bulls coach, Pote Human, named Handré Pollard at flyhalf and captain for Friday’s Vodacom Super Rugby clash against the Highlanders at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin.

The pivot missed the last two matches on tour due to injury, but returns in a much-changed backline from the one that drew against the Blues a week ago.

Divan Rossouw (for Warrick Gelant) and Dylan Sage (for Rosko Specman) will join Pollard (replacing Manie Libbok) in the starting line-up. Sage will move to outside centre, while Johnny Kotze moves one out in place of the injured Specman.

Human also recalled Embrose Papier to partner Pollard at halfback, with Ivan van Zyl moving to the bench and Andre Warner missing out.

The loose trio that finished the game against the Blues will start against the Highlanders.

Marco van Staden will play at no 8 in place of injured Paul Schoeman, with Hanro Liebenberg and Ruan Steenkamp on the side of the scrum. The tight five remains intact.

Johan Grobbelaar comes onto the bench as a loose forward.

Human said the tour provided some good results, but can only be seen a successful one if they get the desired outcome against the Highlanders.

“This is going to be very tough for us, but this group thrives on challenges. I think they last lost to a team from outside New Zealand in 2016, so we need to be at our very best if we want to change that statistic.”

Pollard said he is keen to get back onto the field.

“The short break was great and I am happy to be back. This is a great venue to play at and we are determined to make our visit a productive one. We last won here in 2007, so it is about time we change that.”

The team is (with Super caps and points):

  1. Divan Rossouw (24, 15)
  2. Cornal Hendricks (38, 65)
  3. Dylan Sage (8, 0)
  4. Burger Odendaal (54, 30)
  5. Johnny Kotze (44, 45)
  6. Handré Pollard (c; 57, 598)
  7. Embrose Papier (22, 5)
  8. Marco van Staden (23, 15)
  9. Hanro Liebenberg (41, 30)
  10. Ruan Steenkamp (18, 0)
  11. RG Snyman (46, 10)
  12. Jason Jenkins (50, 35)
  13. Trevor Nyakane (105, 15)
  14. Schalk Brits (73, 20))
  15. Lizo Gqoboka (51, 15)


  1. Jaco Visagie (44, 5)
  2. Simphiwe Matanzima (14)
  3. Wiehahn Herbst (47, 0)
  4. Jannes Kirsten (29, 20)
  5. Johannes Grobbelaar (3, 0)
  6. Ivan van Zyl (28, 35)
  7. Manie Libbok (16, 50)
  8. JT Jackson (2, 0)


Landbouweekliks kuier op Nampo

Japie Grobler van die plaas Karookom op die grens tussen Bothaville en Viljoenskroon in die Vrystaat is een van Suid-Afrika se voorste boere. Hy is voorsitter van Agri Securitas en voormalige voorsitter van Graan SA, Senwes en Agri Suid-Afrika. Japie het twee jaar gelede ’n ernstige motorongeluk oorleef, waarna sy saai-en-veeboerdery groot veranderinge ondergaan het. Sy liefde vir die landbou en nugter uitkyk op die lewe is egter nog dieselfde. Hy sê boerdery is ’n deurlopende leerproses.


Two changes for Vodacom Bulls against Blues

Vodacom Bulls coach, Pote Human, named Ivan van Zyl at scrumhalf and flanker Marco van Staden in his starting team for Friday’s Vodacom Super Rugby clash against the Blues at Eden Park in Auckland. Van Zyl takes over from Andre Warner and Van Staden comes in at flank for Paul Schoeman, who moves to no. 8 in place of Duane Vermeulen.

The Springbok no. 8 returned to South Africa as part of the SA Rugby agreement with contracted Springboks and their franchises.

Jason Jenkins will don the blue jersey for the 50th time.

According to Human, they need to start well against the home side, who have won 11 of their 12 home games against the Vodacom Bulls.

“We need to get a good start and sustain that throughout the match. They have some quality players, but the real test will be in the set-pieces. The Blues have the best scrum success rate (97%) in the competition, so that will be a critical area for us.”

With Handré Pollard and Duane Vermeulen out, Burger Odendaal will take over the captaincy.

The midfielder said they have clear objectives in this match.

“We are the underdogs, no doubt about that. That is good for us, as we can only concentrate on our own game and that we want to achieve. This will have to be very clinical performance from us. If not, it will be a long evening.”

The team is:

  1. Warrick Gelant (37, 60)
  2. Cornal Hendricks (37, 60)
  3. Johnny Kotze (43, 45)
  4. Burger Odendaal (c; 53, 30)
  5. Rosko Spekman (10, 25)
  6. Manie Libbok (15, 38)
  7. Ivan van Zyl (27, 5)
  8. Paul Schoeman (31, 35)
  9. Hanro Liebenberg (40, 25)
  10. Marco van Staden (22, 15)
  11. RG Snyman (45, 10)
  12. Jason Jenkins (49, 35)
  13. Trevor Nyakane (104, 15)
  14. Schalk Brits (72, 20)
  15. Lizo Gqoboka (50, 15)


  1. Jaco Visagie (43, 5)
  2. Simphiwe Matanzima (13, 5)
  3. Wiehahn Herbst (46, 0)
  4. Jannes Kirsten (29, 10)
  5. Ruan Steenkamp (17, 0)
  6. Andre Warner (17, 15)
  7. JT Jackson (2, 0)
  8. Divan Rossouw (23, 15)


Jason Jenkins will play in his 50th match in Vodacom Super Rugby.

‘Varksnoet is ’n puik werktuig’

Angus McIntosh is ’n biodinamiese en bewaringsboer op die Spier-wynlandgoed naby Stellenbosch in die Wes-Kaap. Sy groot liefde is om voedingstofdigtheid vas te lê in al sy vertakkings – onder meer vrylopende varke, lêhenne en beeste. Die produkte wat hieruit voortspruit, waaronder eiers, vleis, gerookte kouevleis en vleisbeenaftreksel, word verpak onder die handelsmerk Farmer Angus. Angus se Limousinkudde was die eerste amptelik geregistreerde veldbeeste in Suid-Afrika.


Vermeulen to lead Vodacom Bulls against Brumbies

Duane Vermeulen will lead the Vodacom Bulls in their Vodacom Super Rugby match against the Brumbies at GIO Stadium in Canberra on Friday.

Regular captain, Handré Pollard will miss this clash due to a calf strain picked up in training earlier this week, and will be returning to South Africa. His place in the number 10 jersey will be taken by Manie Libbok, with Vermeulen taking over as captain.

Human called JT Jackson onto the bench in place of the promoted Libbok. The rest of the match day squad that played against the Rebels last week, remain unchanged.

Human said Libbok, who started for the Vodacom Bulls against the Jaquares earlier in the season, has big shoes to fill, but certainly has the ability and skills to help the team achieve a second win on tour.

“He would not be around if he was not good enough, that is for sure. Handré is probably the leading 10 in the world at the moment, so to take over from him is not easy, but Manie has done well for us when he took to the field this year and I have the utmost confidence in him this weekend. He is an exciting young talent and we are looking forward to watching him grow.”

For Vermeulen, the defensive effort that the squad showed last week, must be repeated.

“We defended very well when under severe pressure and the Brumbies are going to test us the same way. They are so skilled and determined, we cannot let our guard down or we will pay the price,” he said

Kick-off is at 11h45 SA time.


The team (with caps and points) is:

  1. Warrick Gelant (42, 70)
  2. Cornal Hendricks (36, 60)
  3. Johnny Kotze (42, 45)
  4. Burger Odendaal (52, 30)
  5. Rosko Specman (9, 25)
  6. Manie Libbok (14, 33)
  7. André Warner (16, 15)
  8. Duane Vermeulen (captain; 120, 50)
  9. Hanro Liebenberg (39, 20)
  10. Paul Schoeman (30, 35)
  11. RG Snyman (44, 10)
  12. Jason Jenkins (48, 35)
  13. Trevor Nyakane (103, 15)
  14. Schalk Brits (71, 20)
  15. Lizo Gqoboka (49, 15)



  1. Jaco Visagie (42, 5)
  2. Simphiwe Matanzima (12, 5)
  3. Wiehan Herbst (45, 0)
  4. Jannes Kirsten (28, 10)
  5. Marco van Staden (21, 15)
  6. Embrose Papier (21, 5)
  7. JT Jackson (1, 0)
  8. Divan Rossouw (22, 15)


Lizo Gqoboka will play in his 50th match for the Vodacom Bulls in the Vodacom Super Rugby tournament.

Gesin behaal vir dekades sukses met Merino-stoetery

Stephan Nel en sy seun, Stephan (jr.), boer met skape in die afgeleë bergagtige landskap naby Barkly-Oos in die Oos-Kaap. Hy bedryf ook die bekende Bergplaas-Merinostoetery, wat 81 jaar gelede deur sy oupa Frikkie Nel begin is. Stephan het ’n groot liefde vir Merino’s en spog met verskeie eerbewyse. Hy het al ’n kampioen-Merinoram én -ooi geteel, en bied elke jaar ’n suksesvolle produksieverkoping aan met van die hoogste verkoopsgemiddeldes in die Merinobedryf.


Kriel and De Jager to leave Vodacom Bulls

The Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd confirmed the departure of Springboks Lood de Jager and Jesse Kriel at the end of the current season and wished them well in their future endeavours.

De Jager will join Sale Sharks in England and Kriel is heading to Japan to play for the Canon Eagles.

The CEO of the BBC, Alfons Meyer, thanks the two Vodacom Bulls players for the legacy they will leave in Pretoria.

“There can be no doubt that both were very popular amongst our fans, not only because of their personalities, but also because of their passion for the Vodacom Bulls and their styles of play.

“Neither ever stopped trying to give 110% and both became Springboks that have graced the green and gold with much aplomb. We are sad to see them leave, but we cannot fault their contributions and commitments while they were here,” Meyer said.

“We wish them well in their careers.”

Kriel has played for the Vodacom Bulls 69 times, scoring 19 tries. He played in 40 tests this far and scored 12 tries.

De Jager played in 20 matches for the Vodacom Bulls (and 40 for the Toyota Cheetahs) in the Vodacom Super Rugby tournament. He has played in 39 tests so far, scoring four tries.

The state of the grain industry

NAMPO, 17 May 2019 – With grain, including maize, wheat and several other crops, set to remain the staple diet of South Africans for many years to come, it’s essential that the industry is supported in order to thrive.

This is the view of AFGRI, one of South Africa’s leading agricultural companies, home to AFGRI Grain Management, which handles and stores not only maize, but also wheat, sunflower, soya beans, barley and sorghum at more than 100 operational points throughout South and Southern Africa, including Congo-Brazzaville, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Zambia.

The current storage capacity of around 4,7 million tons in South Africa is due to get a boost from the recent announcement by parent holding company, AFGRI Group Holdings (AGH) and its BEE partner, Izitsalo Employee Investments, of the creation of a strategic grain storage platform vehicle in collaboration with STANLIB Infrastructure Investments, Wiphold, and the Land Bank.  The consortium will initially own storage facilities with a total value of R3,6 billion, while AFGRI will manage these storage facilities in terms of a management agreement.

“The AFGRI Grain Silo Company has the clear objective of expanding the current storage capacity to six million tons or more in the near future, allowing us not only to cater for grain storage, but to expand into the storage of other types of commodities,” said Chris Venter, the CEO of AGH, when the deal was announced.


According to Jacob de Villiers, MD of AFGRI Grain Management and CFO of AFGRI, this bodes well for the grain industry, the future of which already looks very positive, with maize farmers in particular increasingly embracing the rotation of their maize crop with oil seeds, boosting the output of both as a result.


In the case of soya beans, increasing local demand has also led to improved production, says de Villiers, which is further good news for the industry as a whole. However, the recent rain during what would have been the traditional harvest time for soya has led to the first challenging harvest period in the county for a number of years, which is challenging for farmers. “This, factored in with the increasing price and yield differential between maize and soya beans, is making the decision fairly difficult for farmers, who might be more inclined to plant maize next year. However, we are optimistic that soya bean production will rebound.”


Given the reality of the growing global population, the role of the grain industry in feeding not only the nation, but also South Africa’s neighbouring states, particularly Zimbabwe, where demand is high, as well as being able to export to international markets, with the hope that government-run rail and port infrastructure will continue to improve, is likely to stimulate the industry even further, says de Villiers.


AFGRI is of course set to play a bigger role in South Africa’s ports going forward, with the announcement in November last year that Transnet had indicated its intent to enter into a 15-year concession agreement with AFGRI for the operation and maintenance of two strategic agri-ports in the country, the Grain Elevator in the Port of East London and the Agri-Port at the Port of Durban. This initiative is aimed at breathing new life into the two terminals through refurbishment, funding, and marketing projects.


De Villiers stresses though that it is of utmost importance that maize production remains financially viable for South African farmers, and as such government should continue to allow free market principles to prevail.

Apart from food security, AFGRI also ensures that grains are handled and stored safely and responsibly, and with a growing worldwide demand for cleaner and safer food, will strive to stay abreast of the latest technologies to ensure it continues to adhere to world-class standards in this regard.

“As mentioned, the new storage platform will give us the ability to expand storage infrastructure in future, which includes putting up new facilities in areas where it is not currently economically feasible, but which will be important in the future,” says de Villiers.

“We need to ensure that as a responsible corporate citizen we support these areas to give them the best possible chance of success, and that farmers have a safe place to store their grain once its harvested. It goes without saying that job creation is just one of the positive spin-offs of such initiatives.”

In addition, other commodities will also be stored in future, enhancing AFGRI’s role in ensuring food security in South Africa and throughout the continent.

De Villiers concludes: “We recognise that it will take massive investment to drive food security, which remains our core vision, and this relates not only the availability of food, but also its affordability. For this reason, we are also cognisant of helping drive down the price of food to the consumer by consolidating our own costs and being open to opportunities to form consortiums with like-minded investors like we’d done on the storage platform to benefit from additional funding and other synergies.”