Urgent requests of farmers in drought-stricken areas of the Western, Northern and Eastern Cape provinces for drought relief have had their effect. Agri SA welcomes the national drought disaster declaration published by Dr Tau, head of the National Disaster Management Centre, on 20 July 2021.
Parts of the Northern, Eastern and Western Cape that have faced an average of 6 to 9 years of droughts have received some relief through various state interventions. Further assistance is urgently needed to stabilise local economies and preserve what is left of core breeding herds. Farmers and communities have also received continuous aid from the private sector, donors and ordinary people.
“It is a positive step by the government to recognise the plight of these areas suffering from the severe disaster drought conditions by issuing a disaster declaration,” Willem Symington, Agri SA chairman of the natural resources centre of excellence told agrisa.co.za. “We hope that there will be sufficient action and assistance to help the agricultural sector and local economies with support to cope with the effects of the catastrophic drought.”
“The bureaucratic red tape and insufficient budget for drought relief by the government have deprived farmers and farmworkers in the drought-stricken areas of their livelihoods, but despite this, we are positive that national resources will be made available to address the disaster,” says Andrea Campher, risk and disaster manager at Agri SA.
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