Fire losses: agriculture still silent over payouts

2008-12-03 00:00

THE KZN Agriculture Department is still silent on the R40 million in compensation due to farmers who suffered losses during the June 2007 fires.

Despite the department’s promise that farmers will be paid out from the end of July, no money has been received. Farmers say their situation is desperate.

The Witness has repeatedly asked department spokesman Thami Ngidi to provide an explanation for the delay. Early last month The Witness phoned the department and sent questions about the issue, but Ngidi failed to respond.

An article was published without the department’s response. On Tuesday, Ngidi said he was not aware that an article had been published and asked that it be sent to him.

He promised to respond as soon as he received the article. Yesterday, Ngidi said he had still not received the article and asked for it to be forwarded to him again, and promised to respond.

The article was e-mailed to him, but The Witness is still waiting for a response. Messages were left in his voice mailbox when he could not be reached, but he did not return the calls.

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