Johannesburg - The lower than expected electricity tariff increase announced last week will help curb household food insecurity, Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said on Tuesday.
“Electricity and fuel increases are among factors that are beyond the control of agriculture but they determine the competitiveness and costs of the sector,” said Joemat-Pettersson.
“These factors place acute pressure on commercial farmers, but especially play a major role on the survival of smallholder farmers. In addition, energy increases have a sustained impact on our food security efforts and job creation,” she said.
Joemat-Pettersson said her department would ensure that it could produce enough food to curb household food insecurity across the country. She said it would make sure food producers had the basic means to produce food.
Eskom had applied for a 16 percent annual increase in electricity for the next five years.
After deliberations and consultations with different organisations and community groups, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) granted Eskom an eight percent annual increase last Thursday.
During Nersa's hearings into the proposed hike, farmers said they were concerned about the impact the increase would have on their sector.
Some farmer groups said a 16 percent hike would possibly lead to job losses. - Sapa