Zuma vows to help drought-hit Free State farmers

2016-07-30 15:28
 ~ Kaveel Singh

Bloemfontein - President Jacob Zuma on Saturday vowed to look into the devastating drought experienced by farmers in the Free State. 

"We are no longer exporting, we are now importing a lot. The issue of food security goes deeper than drought," Zuma told farmers in Bloemfontein. 

Zuma said he would approach Cabinet ministers dealing with drought-related issues to address some of the problems faced by farmers.

During the meeting, several farmers pleaded with Zuma to help them survive the current drought, with one farmer saying commercial farmers have been hit hard. 

"We are not looking for handouts. We are looking for government to help us out. We are struggling at the moment as commercial farmers. We rely on rain and it is affecting us," said Free State farmer Cassim Seedat.

In June, a state of drought was declared in eight provinces - all but Gauteng.

Zuma also urged farmers not to vote with their emotions. 

"I have listened to other parties and I have not heard any party that convinces me that I have a future if I vote for them. Unfortunately they have not written about their policies,"he said. 

"There is a young man who is very angry because he was chased away from some organisation and if you vote for him you vote for anger," said Zuma in an apparent reference to  Economic Freedom Fighters Leader Julius Malema, who was expelled from the ANC Youth League in 2012.

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