The late Barend (Ben) Jacobus Vorster, laid the foundation of what was to become Mahela Group in 1942 when he rented his first piece of land, a section of The Junction farm, outside Letsitele in the Mopani district of Limpopo, South Africa. He initially farmed with vegetables but in 1950 he planted his first citrus tree, paving the way for what was to become one of South Africa’s biggest privately- owned citrus exporters.
Ben’s sons, Edward and Pieter, joined him in the 1960’s and together they farmed and expanded the family’s farming operations. Upon Ben’s passing Edward and Pieter continued to build on his legacy. In 1988 they decided to split the family business between themselves. BJ Vorster Boerdery became Mahela Boerdery (Edward) and Laeveld Sitrus (Pieter).
Today Edward and his four sons, Barend, Pieter, Eddie and Francois oversee a diverse grouping of farming interests under the umbrella of Mahela Group.
The various business interests of Mahela Boerdery are grouped together under the Mahela Group. These include the production of various fruit and nuts, a nursery, fruit packing and exporting, the rearing of livestock, game breeding and chartered flights.
Mahela also holds shares in a juice company, a carton manufacturer and a chemical company.
The biggest percentage of fruit produced on Mahela farms are citrus. These are exported to Europe, Asia, Japan, the Middle-East, Far East and Russia under the brands of Makulu Citrus, Mahela Boerdery and Mala-Mala Citrus.
The Group’s board of directors consists of BJ Vorster’s son, Edward Vorster, his four sons and a non-executive director.
The group employs 700 full-time employees and provides an additional 1 100 non-permanent jobs.