TLU SA reacts to economic news - Agriculture’s hands tied economically

The news that South Africa’s economy shrank by 3,2% in the first quarter of the year comes as no shock to the agricultural sector. Despite its historically reliable and significant contribution to the economy, even agriculture could not surmount the communist policies and downright ineptitude of the ANC and shrank by 13,2% in the same period.

Due to foolhardy government policy, a ruinous drought, the collapse of rural infrastructure and local government and their continued exposure to an undeclared war on them, South Africa’s farmers are currently locked in a battle for survival. According to Johan Steyn, TLU SA Regional Chairman - Eastern Cape, farmers are in the unenviable position where farming expenses have rocketed while income has - for many - dried up.

The agricultural sector has proven over many years and under very difficult farming conditions, to make a significant contribution to GDP. Unfortunately, says Steyn, it appears that the continued destructive effect of the communistic ANC government is taking its toll, even on hardy farmers. The export of many agriproducts including meat, wool and breeding stock was banned as a result of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Limpopo earlier this year. This has had a serious impact on farm earnings.

“The outbreak is as a direct result of animal health regimes not being implemented by subsistence farmers as well as the fact that livestock from neighbouring countries having unrestricted access to South Africa through dilapidated boundary fences,” says Steyn.

“Large areas of the Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Western Cape are still in the grip of a disastrous drought. Many areas have not had significant rain for the past six years and farmers’ reserves are depleted. Many are reliant on the charity of fellow farmers and others. Despite drought relief being made available in certain areas, corruption, maladministration, theft and the pure incapacity of government officials have meant this relief has not reached farmers,” he continues.

He bemoaned the fact that despite many African countries having a great appreciation of South African farmer’s knowledge and skill, the ANC appears to be doing everything in its power to rid South Africa of these skills that are feeding every inhabitant of the country.

“We want to farm; we want to produce food and fibre and earn foreign exchange for our country but the government persists in rolling stones into our path. One is appalled that obsolete socialistic and communistic ideology still garners so much support in this country. Where African and other countries compete to lure our farmers north, the ANC certainly does not value their contribution toward food security, rural stabilisation and growth, and job creation. The market is teaching the ANC, and unfortunately the average man on the street, a harsh lesson. These latest disastrous economic figures are clear proof thereof.”

Steyn praised his fellow farmers who, despite the numerous challenges and dangers they are facing, continue to deliver their best and produce the wide variety of world-class produce South Africans have become accustomed to.

Enquiries: Mr Johan Steyn, Chairperson: Eastern Cape TLU SA,
Cell.: 072 594 4626

Mr Bennie van Zyl, General Manager TLU SA,
Cell.: 082 466 4470




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