Astral forks out R3m for lost production as Standerton's 'horror' continues

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Lekwa Municipality has become the poster child for South Africa's municipal failures
Lekwa Municipality has become the poster child for South Africa's municipal failures
ROSETTA MSIMANGO

One of South Africa's biggest chicken producers, Astral Foods, parted with R3 million in just one week as Standerton's latest water interruption stretched to more than a month. 

With 3 615 workers, Astral is the biggest employer in the Mpumalanga town, where it processes its Goldi and Festive chicken brands. Together with the Olifantsfontein facility in Gauteng, the Standerton plant produces almost 3.2 million chickens a week. Astral also has a feeds business in Standerton.

But last week, the chicken producer had to fork out R3 million to pay its staff overtime to make up for lost production and slaughtered only 950 000 birds due to the town's water crisis. Standerton has frequent electricity and water interruptions, which have impacted Astral's production. The power cuts, alone, have cost the company R39 million over the past five years.

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