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Impact of drought on West Cape economy worse than anticipated

Compared to the previous season, aggregate income after costs in the agriculture sector in the Western Cape is estimated to have declined by up to ZRA 5.9 billion (405 mln euros). This is due to the lower output as a result of the drought.

The impact of the drought on the Western Cape economy is actually higher than previously anticipated, said Western Cape minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde, last Thursday.

According to an article on, research indicates that about 30,000 jobs will be lost in the province due to the drought. Louw Pienaar, an agricultural economist at the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, claims about 22% of rural jobs in the province relate to agriculture. Many of these jobs are for unskilled or semi-skilled workers. This means these workers will not easily be absorbed by the rest of the economy if they lose their jobs in agriculture.

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