Farmers: Still waiting for help

2008-08-31 00:00

Robin Barnsley, president of the KZN Agricultural Union, said farmers are assisting each other. “They are all out, doing what they can. It’s not good. The weather is not playing ball.”

Barnsley said smallholders are often unprepared for fires of this magnitude. He praised NCT Forestry and Fire Stop for the efforts to help control the various fires.

But frustrations were mounting at the lack of support from some government sectors.

Sandy la Marque, CEO of Kwanalu, told The Witness last night that over a year after fires ravaged the midlands last June, farmers who suffered damages are yet to see the relief they were promised. She said the compensation money was paid to the Agriculture Department at the end of last year, but the department have not made their roll-out strategy public.

She said municipal officials in areas like Umgeni and Winterton/Bergville were not present yesterday as farmers there battled blazes.

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