A windpump on a farm in the Karoo. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
A windpump on a farm in the Karoo. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

R12m for farms as drought in parts of W Cape critical

By Staff Reporter Time of article published May 12, 2021

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AS many as 1 100 eligible farmers in drought stricken areas have received fodder support to the value of R12.2milllion as drought conditions persist in parts of the Western Cape.

Last week, average dam levels in the Western Cape stood at 48.2%, with the Clanwilliam Dam at 15.8% while the Garden Route was at 100% capacity. These dam levels were calculated before storms wrecked through parts of the Garden Route last week.

MEC for Agriculture Ivan Meyer said based on the results of the latest bi-annual veld assessment completed in March, the department had categorised the veld in the Central Karoo, Garden Route and West Coast districts as critical or extremely critical. “The veld conditions in many parts of the Central Karoo have deteriorated. The veld in Little Karoo is currently in an arid condition, with critically dry areas. Conditions in the Matzikama Local Municipality have not changed much since the 2020 assessment,” he said in a statement.

“The area is still in extremely critical condition. The veld condition in the Mossel Bay and Hessequa Local Municipalities is currently in a dry condition having received below-average rainfall.”

Meyer said it would take at least three years of above-average rainfall in the province for the veld to recover from the devastating drought.

"In the interim, we encourage farmers to adopt sustainable farming practices. Further support is provided by offering workshops to assist farmers in introducing disaster risk reduction methodologies and practices on their farms. By doing so, we prepare farmers for future disaster episodes impacted by climate change," concluded Meyer.

The organisation South African Water Warriors has been planning a donation drive to the Karoo that is due to take place this week in an effort to assist more than 50 farmers and 158 families which includes farmers and farm workers in the Moordenaars Karoo area.

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