FS declared a drought disaster area

The DA in the Free State has welcomed the resolution by the Free State Executive Council to declare the province a drought disaster area.

This follows a special request by the DA earlier in January, directed to Premier Sisi Ntombela and the MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Benny Malakoane.

Roy Jankielsohn, DA leader in the province, said the request by his party had come after assessing the adverse impact of drought and crime on farmers in the province.

He said the drought has had a devastating impact on both stock and grain farmers.

According to Jankielsohn, the drought disaster declaration was the first step in ensuring that residents received government assistance.

“The agricultural sector in the Free State is the foundation of our rural economies and the province cannot afford to lose more farmers to the drought. Our farmers are already struggling to survive due to increasing input costs, poor road conditions and crime,” he said.

“Farmers continue to lose, on average, between R300 000 and R400 000 per year as a result of crimes such as the theft of livestock, equipment and vehicles. This has depleted reserves that could have mitigated some of the conditions caused by the drought.”

Jankielsohn said a recent report by Agri SA was testimony to the fact that farmers in the province play a key role in the economy of South Africa.

“The report indicates that the Free State is responsible for 39% of dry beans, 34% of grain sorghum, 45% of ground nuts, 38% of soya, 58% of sunflower, 28% of maize, 16% of wheat, 19% of beef and 19% of sheep production in the country, among many other commodities,” Jankielsohn said.

“The effects of the drought will therefore not only be felt in the Free State, but nationwide.

“It is crucial that the government intervenes to support and sustain this crucial sector that provides food for our growing urban population in the country,” he stated.

According to Jankielsohn, the DA will continue to lobby for more drought relief in the Free State from both provincial and national government.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
A Section 89 panel headed by former chief justice Sandile Ngcobo found President Cyril Ramaphosa has an impeachable case to answer on the Phala Phala scandal.
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Ramaphosa should do the honourable thing and immediately resign.
23% - 1506 votes
Ramaphosa should follow due process and submit himself to an impeachment hearing.
30% - 1945 votes
Ramaphosa should fight the findings in court and keep his job at all costs
47% - 3113 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.