Not all farmers can receive help because of a lack of adequate resources. The Agriculture and Rural Development Portfolio Committee has, however, confirmed that the provincial government is in discussions to declare Gauteng a drought disaster area.
Errol Magerman, chairperson of the committee said there are interventions in place to help farmers, but there is nothing provided for this scenario in the province’s budget.
“The unfortunate thing is that we don’t budget as a province for the distaster because it’s not something you can anticipate, hence the importance of having to declare the province as a disaster area, so the monies can be made available,” he said.
One of the farmers’ biggest challenges is coping with the current water restrictions.
Over 720 smallholdings and 500 commercial farmers have been hit hard by the dry conditions in the province, and they need the drought to be declared a disaster so as to obtain funds from insurance providers.
“With the process unfolding now between the MEC of the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, the MEC of agriculture, and the premier, we hope that the province will be declared a disaster area,” Magerman said.