Workers at the Philippi farming area, Western Cape. Picture: Leon Lestrade

CAPE TOWN - Continuous lowering of Western Cape's dam levels has affected the agricultural sector horrifically, consequently impacting negatively on province's Gross Domestic Product.

Penny Byrne of Standard Bank says Western Cape GDP growth could slow from an estimated 1.0% in 2016 to 0.1% in 2017 and -0.2% in 2018, in our base case.

Projections show that if the WC's growth rate declines further, it could immensely affect the country at large.

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The head of information and marketing at First Nationl Bank Agribusiness said, "The Western Cape is probably South Africa’s most important export province in terms of agricultural products. The deciduous fruit industry, wine industry and increasingly the citrus industry, are all key export commodities that contribute significantly to the overall agri-economy of the country".

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The Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs has recently facilitated the allocation of R80 million funding to water and agriculture sectors in the province. 

Speaking on Monday, at a briefing of Water Infrastructure Investment Summit to be held at the end of the month, Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane said, "It's costing about R14 billion to deal with the backlog of water and sanitation infrastructure. It's time for government to position themselves differently". 

- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE