SONA: Resolution of the energy crisis must not be derailed by bureaucracy

While Agri SA welcomes the President’s focus on the electricity crisis in his State of the Nation Address, the sector remains deeply concerned about the ongoing and devastating impact of loadshedding on the agricultural sector. We further question the necessity and value of the declaration of a National State of Disaster to address the crisis. 

The announcement of a new Minister of Electricity in the presidency also requires further detail. The powers of this ministry and its distinction from the ministries of Mineral Resources and Energy and Public Enterprises must be clearly set out to avoid creating a bureaucratic nightmare that hinders rather than accelerates the resolution of the energy crisis. 

The President also announced the planned use of the State of Disaster to exempt critical infrastructure from loadshedding. Agri SA reiterates its call for the agricultural sector to be declared an essential service under such regulations. Given the centrality of food security to the wellbeing of South Africans and the country’s stability, this intervention must be used to partially exempt the parts of the agricultural sector dependent on electricity for irrigation, packing, processing, and cold storage from loadshedding above stage 4. 

Agri SA welcomes the positive moves to address the capacity of South Africa’s ports, and the efforts to improve infrastructure such as rail, roads, and rural bridges. It remains to be seen how quickly these projects will come online, enhancing the productivity of the agricultural sector. Agri SA will work tirelessly on these critical interventions to ensure the protection of sustainable food production in South Africa. 

Media Enquiries:

Christo van der Rheede

Agri SA, Chief Executive Officer

C | 083 380 3492