Call to check on farmers after riots
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THE DA has called for an immediate oversight of the farms in KwaZulu-Natal which were left ravaged by the looting and violence last week.
DA MP Noko Masipa wrote to the chairperson of the parliamentary portfolio committee on agriculture, land reform and rural development, Mandla Mandela, to request an emergency oversight visit to the rural parts of KwaZulu-Natal to assess the damages and needs of farmers and the communities after the devastating riots in the province.
Masipa shares the sentiment that very little is known about how the riots affected the rural KZN communities and the difficulties they could now be facing in terms of access to food and other necessities and the damages they might have suffered.
“Flow of food from farms to storage places, supply of operation equipment to farmers, supply of production inputs to farmers and the continued operation of farms needs to be assessed as a matter of urgency and a plan needs to be implemented to assist these farms and communities,” she said.
The party has also written to the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza, to request Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe, on behalf of farmers and rural communities, to stop the proposed ban on the sale of fuel in portable containers. “He issued a letter reversing the ban without gazetting the reversal thereof.
“However, we call on Minister Gwede Mantashe to gazette the letter that he issued to stakeholders.”
Masipa said the gazetted ban on purchase of fuel with portable containers was a direct violation of the Bill of Rights for citizens who require fuel in order to provide themselves with basic food necessities and medical care. This would be to the detriment of an already dire situation in KZN and might lead to more riots.
She emphasised that everything possible must be done to assist farming communities under pressure in order not to comprise food security.
AgriSA’s executive director Christo van der Rheede said farmers are bearing the brunt of the violent protests and looting.