Durban floods: Urgent action needed to avoid job losses in agricultural sector

Agri SA is deeply saddened by the recent flooding in KwaZulu-Natal and other parts of the country. The loss of life and property has caused enormous pain and suffering, and we extend our condolences to those who have lost loved ones. Agri SA welcomes the reclassification of the previously declared provincial disaster as a national disaster due to the impact of severe weather events. This will help free up much-needed resources to help address the extensive damage to infrastructure.

Agri SA and its provincial affiliation Kwanalu and affected commodity groupings will assist government wherever they can, especially to help make sure that the critically important Durban port is able to function again as soon as possible. Already backlogs have developed, and this is particularly serious for the export of perishable agricultural products which need to be properly stored and transported.

The situation is very serious and is going to require urgent and focused action to make sure farmers are able to get their product to market. Government therefore needs to prioritise road repair and access to a functioning port as top priorities to limit supply chain disruptions. If there are any unnecessary delays in this regard, then it will have a knock-on effect that could lead to job losses and possible shortages of agricultural products.

Agri SA will continue to support Kwanalu in its efforts to monitor and assess the situation and do everything possible to help mitigate the damage that has been experienced by the sector as a result of the catastrophic floods.

Media Enquiries:

Andrea Campher Agri SA Manager: Risk and Disaster Unit 079 887 2174