Classification of severe weather events as a national disaster

Agri SA welcomes the National Disaster Management Centre’s (NDMC) classification of a national disaster due to the severe rainfall and flooding in large parts of the country.

The recent rains have also been welcomed due to prolonged drought conditions producers experienced the past 6 to 9 years, however, these conditions have brought severe risks for crops and damage to infrastructure.  Road infrastructure is of particular importance to be prioritised.

The national disaster classification allows the national executive, in terms of existing legislation and contingency arrangements, to coordinate and manage this disaster. In strengthening its support, the South African National Defence Force, South African Police Service or any other organ of state can be mobilised to effectively manage the disaster in conjunction with disaster management structures.

Impact assessments are already being conducted by provincial disaster management centres and the department of agriculture to determine the extent of damage suffered by producers. In order to have a national disaster declared, these assessments are critical. Funds will now be reprioritised within the sphere of government to address the disaster, of which the urgent need for producers is to have road infrastructure repaired. Reports have been received that some producers have 100% crop losses in some districts and, as we are at the end of the planting season, producers cannot replant. Record high input costs such as fertiliser and fuel are other losses farmers also experienced by the torrential rains.

Agri SA partakes in the National Joint Flood Coordination Committee meetings of the NDMC, in which organised agriculture have the opportunity to address the critical needs of producers and allow closer collaboration with the government on the impacts suffered by producers. Agri SA is committed to assisting the NDMC in assessing the damage and mitigating the effects on the agricultural sector.


Andrea Campher

Agri SA Risk and Disaster manager

(C) 079 887 2174

 Willem Symington

Chairperson of Agri SA’s Natural Resources Centre of Excellence

(C) 084 592 7474