The South African Cane Growers Association has registered its concern about the slow pace of repairing roads and bridges damaged by the recent floods in KwaZulu-Natal.
The cane growers say the cost of transporting sugar cane to sugar mills has rapidly escalated as farmers have to use longer routes to get to the mills.
CEO of the South African Cane Growers Association Doctor Thomas Funke explains. “Two and half thousand hectors were extensively damaged by the flooding. What is even more concerning is that many of the access roads to and from the mills have been destroyed especially where there are bridges, and it is of concern that the process of repairing this infrastructure is taking very long.”
Meanwhile, Doctor Funke says some sugar cane farmers might be pushed out of business, after finding out that many insurance companies do not cover disasters such as flooding on the crop.
He however says they are working with the Department of Agriculture to secure relief funding for the affected farmers.
“Unfortunately, insurance does not cover the crop for rain damage or flood damage, we have investigated that. The farmers have in many instances have fire insurance for runaway fire then the crop is covered, and insurance of flood damage is not there. And we are working with the government and the IDC to see what funding can be made to the farmers that have suffered this damage. That process is still in the very early stages, the Department of Agriculture Rural Development and Land Reform has been tasked to verify many of the claims to damages, but it will take a long time before the farmers can receive any form of relief funding or assistance.”
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