DA requests that farmland affected by devastating fires be declared an Area of Disaster

Issued by Henro Kruger MP – DA Member of Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development
27 Sep 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached Afrikaans and English soundbites by Henro Kruger MP.

The DA notes the announcement by AgriSA CEO, Christo van der Rheede, that at least R1 billion worth of crops and livestock were destroyed in raging fires in the Northern Cape, Free State, Mpumalanga, North West and Limpopo. The amount also includes infrastructure damage. From mid-August, these fires have affected at least 1.2 million hectares of land and have absolutely devastated farmers.

Farmers have already been badly hit by rolling blackouts, inflation, high-interest rates and crumbling infrastructure, to name a few. As food prices continue to be at record highs, as well as with the outbreak of avian flu, the sector cannot afford to be under this immense pressure, as this will worsen the cost of living.

We are in communication with the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) on how to assist farmers, following these tragic events.

The DA calls on South Africans to aid the affected farmers in whichever way they can through the AgriSA Disaster Relief Foundation. They urgently need feed, transport for the donated bales to the disaster area and financial assistance to cover the transport costs.

We also wish to reiterate our call to the Minister of Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Thembi Nkadimeng, that the affected areas be urgently declared disaster areas, as this will unlock much-needed funds from the State to farmers.

The DA will always stand shoulder-to-shoulder with farmers and farmworkers to ensure that they receive the best possible outcomes and that our food security is not compromised.

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