According to statistician-general Risenga Maluleke, South African provinces such as the Free State, Gauteng and Mpumalanga are critical to the country’s food production. Maluleke released the 2017 Census of Commercial Agriculture in Pretoria on Tuesday.
"Out of the 40 122 farming units in the country, 20% are in the Free State and 5.7% of those are in Gauteng, and when we drill down to Gauteng, we found out that while it has the smallest landmass, about 75.7% of activity in Gauteng was in livestock."
According to the report, livestock farming ranks the highest at 33.9% followed by mixed farming and field crops. Maluleke said it is important for the government to understand these trends.
"Gauteng accounted for a third of all carrots produced in the country, mainly in the West Rand, so if something were to go wrong in the West Rand we would have no carrots coming out of Gauteng to the rest of the country. When we go to Pixley ka Seme in Mpumalanga, there were about six sheep to every person living there, so the mutton comes from there," said Maluleke.
Agricultural Minister Thoko Didiza accepted the report and has an assurance food security will be protected during the national lockdown.