Agriculture body, Agri SA, has warned that the recent escalation in rolling blackouts has seriously disrupted farming operations, posing long-term risks to consumers and the economy.
Farmers are reporting huge losses due to damages to machinery, equipment and stock amid power outages.
Agri SA’s Executive Director Christo van der Rheede says, “The agriculture sector really faced an uphill battle for the past few weeks, especially with the [load] shedding level 6 which has really caused a lot of problems.”
“Farmers also lose their equipment due to power surges and so forth. Your consumer, at the end of the day, suffers as a result of farmers sitting with the increased cost and even products being rejected by retailers because of a compromised cold-chain system.”
Full interview with Christo van der Rheede:
Impact of rising cost of living
The rising cost of fuel and food is having an impact on the mental health of South Africans.
The South African Anxiety and Depression Group (SADAG), says they have noted an increase in callers experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression, due to financial woes.
The group says they anticipate a surge in callers on their helpline following the latest fuel price hike that came into effect on Wednesday.
SADAG Operations Director Cassey Chambers says, “SADAG has over the last couple of weeks seen more and more people calling, feeling very helpless and hopeless, dealing with added stresses and triggers with regards to the financial situation.”
“The increase in fuel prices, the knock on effect it has on their family, their household, their job, transport and just their overall well-being.”
The audio below is reporting on the story: