DA Proposes Drought Relief Motion

Speech by: Ina Cilliers MPL

“Innovation the key to mitigate drought effect on Gauteng Agricultural sector”

  • In Gauteng we have the talent, the resources and the technology to implement effective strategies to farm and live in a semi-arid environment, in the midst of a drought that is never going to abate completely;
  • Every time you flush a toilet, 9 litres of quality water is lost. Municipalities could start exploring dry sanitation solutions, and rewarding communities for grey water recycling, the use of irrigation systems linked to weather stations and diversifying water resources instead of relying solely on rainwater.
  • Re-directing resources to fix and maintain reticulation infrastructure and implementing a rapid response approach to leaks has worked well in certain Western Cape municipalities where water losses stand at only 14%;
  • Drought relief must expand from drilling boreholes and providing fodder to providing farmers with permanent organic soil cover, drought resistant crop cultivars, no-till mechanisation, and precision farming applications. It is already much easier to download an extension officer from the app store than to see a live one from GDARD;
  • Government is still advocating agricultural methodology that is as old, outdated and downright bad for the farming economy.

The full speech can be obtained here.

 

Speech by: Janho Engelbrecht MPL

“The poor will be hit hardest by Government’s inaction over drought”

  • Vast amounts of food are consumed in Gauteng, the most densely populated of all our provinces, therefore the people of this province are dependent on others for most of our food, and it is precisely this dependency that puts us at risk;
  • The drought is making it more expensive to operate, and that cost is being passed onto the consumer. This could have been avoided if government took urgent action and declared the drought a national disaster earlier this year, freeing up funding that would have resulted in better supply, and lower prices;
  • While we may not yet be experiencing food insecurity, we are already seeing increased community and household food insecurity amongst the poorest of the poor in Gauteng. Food price inflation increases hurt the poor when particular staple foods along with bread and cereals increase by 16%; fruit by 20% and vegetables by 15.4%;
  • We need real solutions to a crisis that has the potential to destabilize our province.

The full speech can be obtained here.

 

 

 

Media Enquiries:

Ina Cilliers MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Agriculture

060 556 4344

 

Janho Engelbrecht MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Agriculture

060 556 4343

[Image source]

Gauteng Drought Relief Funding Not Enough To Stop Food Shortages

National Disaster

The R20 million drought relief set aside by Gauteng Finance MEC, Barbara Creecy, in her 2016/17 budget will offer small relief to the agricultural sector in the province when at least a R140 million is required to mitigate the impact the drought has had.

This drought, the worst in 104 years, has had a tremendous impact on the 720 smallholders and 500 commercial farmers in the province that there has been an increase in the number of unemployed farm workers, increased food prices, food insecurity among the poorest of the poor and will see many farmers going out of business.

The DA calls on Gauteng Premier David Makhura and his cabinet to push to have an agricultural drought declared in Gauteng, in support of the declaration of a National Disaster.

Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

Premier Makhura must also ensure that the drought relief includes support in the commercial sector such as farm worker wage subsidies, providing soft production loans for farmers in severe distress, rigorously introducing conservation agriculture principles in all Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development activities, and providing interest rate subsidies to commercial farmers in distress for the winter planting season.

If these steps are not followed immediately, Gauteng will not only face an agricultural drought, but also a socio-economic drought where physical water shortages will directly affect the health and daily prospects of the people of Gauteng.

 

Media enquiries:

Ina Cilliers MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Agriculture

060 556 4344

[Image source]