One of the country’s biggest poultry producing companies, Astral Food, says it has lost about R100 million due to water shortages experienced in the Lekwa Municipality in Standerton in Mpumalanga.
The company has employed over 3 000 residents of that area.
Astral Foods Managing Director, Andy Crocker, says they have now been forced to reduce working hours and also apply the no work no pay rule.
He says if the situation continues, they will be forced to shed jobs.
“The Goldie abattoir that we have in Standerton produces largest in terms of South Africa. It slaughters 2 million birds a week. 2425 people work there in the processing plant and 900 people on the agricultural side who raised the chicken to deliver to the process in plant.”
“The impact to those people currently is that we are working half time because there is no sufficient water to be able to do the second shift. Obviously we need water to adjacent production if it calls for that,” says Crocker.