Government ends state of disaster despite persistent drought

Agri SA says the situation remains dire.
Sheep eat pellets from feed troughs on a farm in the Northern Cape province. Image: Bloomberg

South Africa has terminated a national state of disaster that was declared to mitigate the effects of a severe drought, even though some areas haven’t had sufficient rain for more than seven years.

The decision not to extend the four-month state of disaster beyond July 4 was taken after “reassessing the magnitude and severity of the drought conditions in the country” and consultations with provincial disaster management centres, Mmaphaka Tau, head of the National Disaster Management Centre, said in notice in the Government Gazette.

Agri SA, the country’s biggest commercial farmers lobby group, criticised the decision, saying organised agriculture should have been consulted.

Parts of South Africa’s central livestock farming area are in the grip of the worst drought on record and producers are buckling under debt they took on to feed their animals. Dam levels across the country, with the exception of Western Cape, have been dropping according to the Department of Water and Sanitation.

The state of a disaster enabled the disbursements of additional cash and stockfeed for farmers. Finance Minister Tito Mboweni allocated R466.4 million from an unallocated disaster relief fund in a June 5 Gazette notice, but Agri SA said it was unclear if the money was to be used to tackle Covid-19 or for drought aid.

The government also declared a national state of disaster for the coronavirus pandemic in March, which remains in place.

The government is “playing with fire” by not providing more assistance to farmers during the pandemic, Agri SA Deputy Executive Director Christo van der Rheede said. Ensuring the country had sufficient food was integral to managing the virus outbreak, he said.

© 2020 Bloomberg

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One State of disaster ends another state of disaster, while the disastrous State that declared the disaster, remains a disaster.

They would rather help and suck up to the Taxi industry than spend money on a farmer feeding the nation

Thats the story of the ANC led Government. Thick as thieves and corrupt beyond control!

They have destroyed a thriving economy with their unabated theft and taken all of us along into a dark abyss so deep, not even the Sun’s rays can reach it anymore!

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you”

Friedrich Nietzsche

Geld kom uit die grond uit. Just saying

Ask Julius he knows. The man who has yet to contribute anything to SA.

The Government IS the “State of Disaster”!.

Another way of exerting control, another way of making it just more difficult for us farmers to produce food for the bellies in parliament.

End of comments.

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