Fires destroy 50% of Free State's communal grazing land – Sanco

2015-12-24 13:01


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Bloemfontein – Free State farmers need urgent help from authorities after thousands of hectares of grazing land were destroyed by runaway veld fires in the province, the SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco) said on Thursday.

Sanco spokesperson Jabu Mahlangu said in a statement that most emerging farmers were already reeling from the effect of the devastating drought.

"Unless they are speedily assisted with fodder and infrastructure repairs, their livestock and enterprises will unlikely survive the disaster," he said.  

Mahlangu called for an investigation into the causes of the fires that had destroyed about 50% of communal grazing land.

He said several farms in the Zastron area had reportedly suffered massive losses, estimated at millions of rands, since the fires started on Monday.

"It is suspected that it [the fires] started at an initiation school in the area," he said.  

The North West, Free State, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal were declared drought disaster areas last month.

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  fires

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