The jobs of over 3000 workers are under threat in the Standerton, Mpumalanga. The poultry farm that employs them claims to have lost over R100 million due to local municipality’s inconsistent water supply.
Residents claim water rationing has been an on-going issue in the area.
“It’s a big problem, when we wake up there’s no water and the water only come after 4 and by 8 there is no water again,” says a resident, Danisile Mofokeng.
The biggest employer in the area, Astral Food, previously struck a deal with the municipality to four mega litres instead of the 5 that they require to slaughter chickens. But they still get far less than that.
“The company has experienced 85 million rand loss in directly to the water supply to try and mitigate that in this quarter and over and above 20 million we declare in our first half. We have a mutual court order that requires that they delivery 4 mega litters to us because they shed water for 6 to 10 hours a day that in place but they have not met that,” says Astral Food’s Andy Crocker.
The workers bear the brunt. The employees normal work two shifts a day but now they work a shift a day since the water crises. over 3400 job are on the line.
The company is considering further legal action. Meanwhile, Lekwa local municipality could not be reached for a comment.