About 70% of South Africa’s total area is suitable only for livestock production. Although livestock are found throughout the country, the highest numbers are concentrated in the Eastern Cape Province. The main objective was to assess the status of livestock production in the communal farming areas of the Eastern Cape. A survey using participatory rural appraisal (PRA) and structured questionnaires was used to collect the data on the status of livestock production in communal farming areas of the Eastern Cape. The data was analyzed using in Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software. All of the 70 households interviewed were livestock owners and consisted of respondents of about 55 years of age. There was a variation on village herd structure and herd distribution per household and farmers kept cattle for various reasons. The need to keep the balance of milk and meat products was observed on the breed choices and enterprise choice. Lack of knowledge, improper institutional arrangements and diseases were highlighted as the major challenges facing communal livestock production.
"Experientia docet" - Experience is the best teacher