Agri SA president Pierre Vercueil says the mass looting and general civil unrest prevailing in South Africa has affected the agricultural sector, particularly in KwaZulu-Natal.
“Solutions can not take weeks, but must be implemented as soon as possible, because we have perishable products, and the export of our products are under threat.
“The Durban harbour, for one, plays a pivotal role in this regard.”
In a message to industry stakeholders, he mentions that food security is at risk and must be protected. To this end, Agri SA is working closely with KwaZulu-Natal-based agricultural union Kwanalu to determine what is needed to offer support.
“We are providing assistance on issues including humanitarian aid through Agri SA’s disaster fund.”
Agri SA has appealed to President Cyril Rampahosa to announce a State of Emergency to help still the violence in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
The organisation is also liaising with the South African National Defence Force to make additional resources available for rural areas in KwaZulu-Natal, to assist farmers and farmworkers.
Vercueil confirms that arrangements are being made to transport additional supplies to certain areas.
He adds that Agri SA on July 16 met with several Ministers in an effort to do damage control as far possible and open up highways such as the N3 to facilitate the transport of foodstuffs to the Durban harbour as quickly as possible, as well as to other provinces.
Agri SA has assured its members that it is doing everything in its power to help alleviate instability and get agricultural production and distribution back on track.