The Western Cape Department of Agriculture has requested an amount of R147 million from National Treasury to support farmers in the Western Cape during the drought crisis. To date, the National Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni, has failed to respond. Furthermore, Minister Mboweni has failed to address the crippling drought in his Medium-Term Expenditure Framework policy statement.
MPP Andricus van der Westhuizen said: “The Democratic Alliance in the Western Cape welcomes the much needed R50 million in drought relief provided by the Western Cape Government to farmers. While this funding will bring immediate relief to farmers in the worst affected parts of the province, the Western Cape’s Central Karoo region is still in dire need of the additional R147 million from National Treasury for further drought relief.”
Agriculture accounts for 51% of all exports for the Western Cape which strengthens the provincial and national economy. The lack of support from National Government further threatens the food security of all citizens as well as employment and the economy.
MPP Andricus van der Westhuizen added: “This was evident in a reply to my parliamentary question which revealed that on average 30% of deciduous fruit trees in the Klein Karoo and Hoeko Valley died as a result of water shortages during the province’s severe drought and resulted in 2532 jobs lost in the region”.
The negligence of agriculture as critical part of our economy has far reaching effects on every citizen. The Democratic Alliance in the Western Cape remains committed to investing in agriculture. We will continue to push for growth and innovation in this sector to build a strong, prosperous, and resilient provincial economy in the Western Cape.