Animal traction in South Africa: 
empowering rural communities

Animal traction in South Africa: 
empowering rural communities

Compiled and edited by Paul Starkey
A DBSA-SANAT publication. ISBN 1874878-676

Animal power has a long history in South Africa. Its present importance is often unrecognised. Today the majority of farmers in remote rural areas benefit from using oxen, donkeys or horses for transport or cultivation. Animals contribute to food production, marketing and drudgery reduction, particularly for women. This book derives from a remarkable survey in which a multi-racial, multi-disciplinary team travelled nation-wide and listened to the experiences and concerns of over 500 farmers and officials.

The South African Network of Animal Traction (SANAT) initiated the survey. The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) held a workshop to discuss the findings. It was concluded that animal traction could play a significant role in achieving the objectives of the Reconstruction and Development Programme.

This attractive, generously-illustrated resource book presents a wealth of information, ideas and experiences. It provides fascinating insights into the past, present and future of animal traction in South Africa. It will be of value to all concerned with rural development, especially those involved in development planning, research, extension, education, training, gender issues and animal welfare The book includes the following:

  • Current animal traction situation in each Province

  • Analysis of human, animal and technological issues

  • Historical perspectives

  • Socio-economic analysis

  • Donkeys: myths and misconceptions

  • Portraits of animal power

  • Ways forward

Some of the chapters in this book can be downloaded (see below)

Copies of the book can be ordered from SANAT

Contact: South African Network of Animal Traction (SANAT)
(Attn Bruce JOUBERT)
Faculty of Agriculture, University of Fort Hare
Private Bag X1314, Alice 5700, SOUTH AFRICA
Tel: + 27-40-6022085; Fax: + 27-40-6531730
Cell: 0822003646
; Email:

Animal traction in South Africa: overview of the key issues
    by Paul Starkey, Funiwe Jaiyesimi-Njobe and Dirk Hanekom
Animal traction in South Africa: the present situation (1995) **2.2 Mb**
    by Paul Starkey P, Hanekom D, Lake T, Meikle G and Jaiyesimi-Njobe F
The donkey in South Africa: myths and misconceptions. *453 kb*
    by Paul Starkey
An historical perspective on animal power use in South Africa *450 kb*
    by Bruce Joubert
Animal traction in South Africa: the way forward
    by Paul Starkey and Johan Koorts
Animal Traction in South Africa: References

ATNESA Home Page


Home Page


Click here
to see other
publications on
animal traction
in South Africa













ATNESA Home Page 

Home Page

Comments, corrections and feedback relating to this website are welcome
Click here to e-mail your ideas