Heavy Rainfall Cause $73M Worth Of Damage To SA’s Western Cape Agriculture

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News in brief: The Western Cape government estimates that recent heavy rainfall and strong winds caused about $73 million worth of damage to its agriculture sector. It is assessing the full extent of the damage and has requested assistance for infrasturctural repairs, while farmers are urged to seek assistance from the agriculture department.

The South Africa’s Western Cape government estimates that the weekend’s heavy rainfall and strong winds caused nearly R1.4 billion ($73 million) in damages to its agricultural sector.

According to a local news source, the province’s agriculture department said that the Cape Winelands region suffered the hardest from the storm. Damage to infrastructure alone is estimated to be R250 million ($13 million), while crop losses, mostly citrus and vineyards, are estimated at R150 million ($7.8 million).

The department says that it is still assessing the full extent of the damage, and estimated that only about 20% of farms have been surveyed so far.

Meanwhilw, Western Cape Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Local Government, Anton Bredell, says that better weather is expected in the coming days, with a slight cold front expected on Friday.

He added that the provincial government has sent a request to President Cyril Ramaphosa for the assistance of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to help with bridge repairs. Bredell explained that the SANDF has bridge-building experts and engineers as well as mobile bridges. Their assistance would be especially helpful on the N2 highway, the main highway along the Indian Ocean coast of the country and its longest numbered route.

Furthermore, Bredell said that it would take some time for the SANDF to arrive and begin work, but that the government was working hard to restore power to areas that had been affected by the storm.

The provincial government has urged farmers to contact the department for assistance if they have been affected by the flooding.

This is a major blow to the Western Cape’s agricultural sector, which is a key contributor to the South Africa’s agricultural exports. Farmers are now facing the challenge of repairing their infrastructure and replanting their crops.

Joseph Akahome
Joseph Akahome
Joseph O Akahome (OJ) is a writer, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature from the University of Benin. He is an avid agriculturist, with a bias for poultry and an insatiable appetite for chicken wings. When he is neither reading nor researching, he likes to spend recreational time playing board games, or swimming in serene forested lakes.

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