Free State sets aside R1.5m to compensate farmers after veld fires

2011-12-02 07:35

The Free State Department of Agriculture has set aside R1.5 million to compensate farmers who were affected by runaway veld fires in August this year.

Responding to a question in the provincial legislature, Agriculture MEC Mosebenzi Zwane said 615 farmers were assisted.

Five people were hurt and hundreds of livestock were killed in the fires in Northern Free State. The Koppies Nature Reserve suffered considerable damage.

The damage caused by veld fires across the province this year alone is estimated at R500 million.

Provincial finance MEC Seiso Mohai allocated a total of R79.1 million in the adjustment budget, presented last month, for disasters and emergencies in the province.

Mohai said the money was earmarked for areas that were affected earlier this year and it would cover schools, roads, bridges, clinics, hospitals and houses.

Another R30 million was allocated to the department of agriculture.

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