SEE | 40 000 chickens killed, farmer to put R1.5m claim to Eskom

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
An estimated 40 000 to 50 000 chickens have died at a farm in the North West due to erratic electricity.
An estimated 40 000 to 50 000 chickens have died at a farm in the North West due to erratic electricity.
Supplied

Warning: This article contains images that may be upsetting to some readers.  


A North West poultry farmer says he is planning to put in a R1.5 million claim against Eskom after electricity disruptions at his farm killed an estimated 40 000 to 50 000 of his flock.

Herman du Preez, owner of the Frangipani Boerdery in Lichtenburg, told News24 on Thursday that it was difficult to know the exact death toll, as chickens were still dying. Problems began in mid-December when problems with a transformer prompted Eskom to connect the area to another line, he said, but there had been variations in the voltage that damaged equipment such as pumps and motors.

Problems came to a head on Monday night, when insufficient voltage resulted in the air conditioning at one of the farm's chicken houses to shut down, he said. The farm has about 550 000 chickens.

"I'm busy with my homework. I'm waiting for reports from my electrician," said Du Preez. Eskom technicians had visited the farm on Wednesday in order to turn up the voltage, said Du Preez, but he added that he was now concerned about a surge if Eskom ultimately restores the area's transformer.

"So that's the next disaster that's going to happen," he said.

Dead chickens

Dead chickens

The continuation of Stage 6 load shedding in 2023 has sparked fears that disruptions in the agricultural supply chain could push up already elevated food prices and even result in shortages.

READ Chicken crisis: 10 million chicks culled in six weeks due to load shedding

The South African Poultry Association warned earlier in January that load shedding had exacerbated pressure on egg producers, and about 10%, or 200, small egg famers had already gone out of business. Chicken shortages have also forced a number of fast-food outlets to temporarily shut down outlets, or cut items from their menus.

SA's largest poultry producer, Astral Foods, put the direct cost of load shedding at its operations at R138 million in its 2022 year, and has battled for years with unreliable water and electricity at its facility in Standerton, Mpumalanga.

READ | SA egg industry in crisis as soaring costs force a tenth of small farmers to close shop




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
Rand - Dollar
17.47
-2.2%
Rand - Pound
21.05
+0.1%
Rand - Euro
18.91
-0.2%
Rand - Aus dollar
12.09
+0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+0.1%
Platinum
974.02
0.0%
Palladium
1,623.95
0.0%
Gold
1,865.16
0.0%
Silver
22.35
0.0%
Brent Crude
79.94
-2.8%
Top 40
74,082
+0.6%
All Share
80,241
+0.6%
Resource 10
75,186
+0.7%
Industrial 25
103,461
+0.8%
Financial 15
16,550
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot
Editorial feedback and complaints

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

LEARN MORE
Government tenders

Find public sector tender opportunities in South Africa here.

Government tenders
This portal provides access to information on all tenders made by all public sector organisations in all spheres of government.
Browse tenders