Frequently asked questions

1. Where did the name “Mahela ” came from and what does it stand for?

This name was given by Edward Vorster‘s father BJ. Vorster by the Local people, it means “quick, no non-sense”.

2. How did Mahela Group come into existence?

BJ. Vorster was originally a miner who cultivated potatoes, tomatoes and rice. With the first litches planted in 1947, he rented a small piece of land in the same facility and for the first 9 months he along with his family stayed there in tent below a tree. In those days he cultivated mainly vegetables mainly potatoes, pumpkins and tomatoes and then in 1950s we started cultivating citrus crops.

3. What is the vision of “Mahela Group”?

Our vision is to produce good quality products, at the least cost with the lowest impact to the natural environment.

4. How many employees do you employee for such large scale production and what kind of facilities do you provide them ?

We have approximately 1100 employees, there is a proper training program for all, there are ongoing education program initiatives which include skill development, life skill training and adult literacy classes. These are among the many aspects that are covered during the training period. There are schools, day care facilities and creches on each production unit which take care of children during working hours. Sporting activities like soccer and net ball is also practiced .

5. What is the approximate production of various types of crops that are grown?

In total Mahela produces 60,000 tons of fruit per annum !! 3 million cartons of citrus is grown in the Letsitele & Hoedspruit areas. (25% of grapefruit and remaining 75 % is covered by the remaining range of varieties)

6. Where does Mahela group export its crops to?

Main export is concentrated on Europe, Japan, Russia, Middle East, Far East, Canada and UK.

7. How do you manage such a huge business?

Each one of us has our own responsibility, Barend Vorster (oldest son) is doing finance and marketing, Peter Vorster is doing corporate services, labor development and human resource. James Edward Vorster is the production manager and he sees to the production of all the fruits and Francois Gerhardt Vorster manages all the sub tropical farms. He was also honoured with 2008 Toyota farmer of the year award.

8. Do you export all the crops that are grown in the farms?

Actually Bananas(2800 cartons per year) are grown only for the local business .Avocados and other fruits are focused on the export business, some on the local market and into processing of fruit juice.

9. Do you have other brands too ? if so, what do the brand names mean?

Yes, In total there are 3 brands:

1. Mahela Group

2. Makulu

3. Malamala

10 What is the global ranking of South Africa in citrus production?

South Africa is the world’s second largest exporter of citrus fruit and ranks 14th in the citrus production!!

11. Does Mahela Group Comply to any certification standards?

Yes,! It Complies to the annual global gap certification standards.

12. Apart from crop cultivation and educational programs are there any other projects that Mahela Group is involved in?

We have a Game breeding project since 1998. We are involved in the conservation of Elephants, lions, Zebras, Rhinos, Sable antelope and Wild dogs. A detailed DNA sample is available for each Sable, to keep a record of all the sables.