File image: IOL.

CAPE TOWN - Farmers in the Western Cape have reportedly lost R14bn since the onset of the impairing drought in the province, reports Business Day. 

This comes after Agri Western Cape CEO, Carl Opperman confirmed to Business Live the effect that the drought had on the agricultural sector. 

On the effects on the fruit and vegetable industry, Opperman said that they too have been hit hard by the crisis. 

This will influence food prices which may possible see increases, he said. 

Deciduous fruit crops would also be about 20% smaller than previous years.

This will see approximately 50 000 seasonal workers receiving a lower income or no income at all. 

READ ALSO: Drought-hit deciduous fruit farmers mull alternatives

Meanwhile, the City of Cape Town said last month that even though farmers use borehole water for their production, they will face the proposed drought charge. 

The City recently proposed that a drought charge is needed to make up the deficit in the City’s revenue which emanates from residents’ water savings and paying significantly less for water and sanitation.

As a result, the City's water and sanitation department projects a deficit of R1.7 billion for 2017/18 in the region. This municipality claims that without this income, water and sanitation service delivery would be affected.

According to Farmer's Weekly, councillor Johan van der Merwe, the City of Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for finance said, "All properties within Cape Town municipality’s boundaries on which rates were levied, would be affected by the drought charge if it was approved".

Van der Merwe added, "The owner of a farm will be charged according to the valuation of the agricultural land and, if applicable, the commercial activities taking place on the property. Farms are valued purely on their agricultural value derived from comparable sales of the different farming types within the area".

ALSO READ: Borehole water or not, farmers should pay extra for water - City of Cape Town

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