Home News Floods sweep R1bn from WC agricultural sector

Floods sweep R1bn from WC agricultural sector

by Zahid Jadwat

Parts of the Western Cape were swept by floods in the past week. [Picture: EWN]


Western Cape premier Alan Winde announced recent floods in the province have swept away around R1 billion off its agricultural sector. This as the region experienced some of the heaviest rainfall in as many as 20 years.

The provincial leader was speaking during a media briefing with Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell on Tuesday. They said officials estimated the loss to be between R750 million and R1 billion.

However, Winde said it was too soon to quantify the extent of the damage. The fact that the floods occurred, mainly in the Cape Winelands and West Coast, during the citrus and potato harvest season meant farmers could experience further losses.

“The citrus harvest,” he said, “will have an impact which will be difficult to get products in and out. Most of the agricultural lands have been flooded, so we don’t know yet but we have to try and mitigate risk as quickly as possible”.


SMread: BELA Bill implications for homeschoolers and parental rights

Raging floodwaters

Large parts of the Western Cape were drenched after floods lashed the province last week. A series of cold fronts were believed to have brought on widespread destruction.

“In Citrusdal, we have received a lot of issues and complaints that farmers cannot enter access roads to do the physical harvesting. In the Winelands, wine and table grapes have been washed away and damaged,” CEO of Agri SA Western Cape, Jannie Strydom, is quoted by News24.

“For citrus, it is peak season for harvesting,” he continued. [Due to flooding], farmers have not been able to enter access roads and physically harvest fruit. It is a huge challenge to take potatoes out of the ground now. The production of berries has also been affected.”

Meanwhile, non-profit organisation Gift of the Givers (GoG) said it had spent some R10 million on humanitarian aid in the province. Its chairperson and founder, Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, said they had intervened by providing transport, blankets, mattresses, diapers, hot meals and other basic necessities.

Two people have died, while it is estimated 2 000 were displaced. Estimates of the total number of people affected by the floods is placed above 10 000.

Related Videos