Don’t panic, the Ukraine war is not going to leave SA with food shortages, govt says

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South Africans don’t need to panic about any impending food shortages in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine because there are currently enough supplies locally, including of imports. Picture: GCIS
South Africans don’t need to panic about any impending food shortages in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine because there are currently enough supplies locally, including of imports. Picture: GCIS

The government says South Africans don’t need to panic about any impending food shortages in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine because there is currently enough supplies locally.

"We have gained enough understanding of our available food supplies and are confident that there are sufficient supplies for South Africa and the neighbouring Southern African Custom Union countries for the foreseeable future, and therefore no need to panic that the country could experience shortages," Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza said in a statement on Saturday.

"We have benefitted from good harvests of a range of crops and fruits and have already imported a large share of products that we are import-dependent on, such as wheat and rice."

Didiza had met with food processors, members of the fruit and grains industry, agricultural trading groups, and farmer associations to discuss availability of food safety as part of the Inter-Ministerial Task Team’s assessment of the Ukraine war to the local economy.

It has been over three weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine, and aside from deaths and a refugee crisis, the war triggered skyrocketing prices in oil, wheat and other commodities. The Department of Public Enterprises warned of fuel rationing if the war continued for much longer.

According to the latest data from the Central Energy Fund, petrol and diesel prices currently look set for record increases in the first week of April, with 95 octane petrol set to increase by R2.15/l, 93 octane expected to climb by R2.07/l, diesel to rise between R2.94/l and R3.08/l.

Higher fuel prices will affect input costs of all goods that must be transported and will therefore lead to higher inflation.  

 

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