Interim reports on the impact of the recent fires on the agriculture and tourism sectors indicate significant damage in some parts of the province.

Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, today (28 February 2017) revealed an interim assessment on the extent of the damage to the agriculture sector, completed by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture.

“Our initial data shows that natural vegetation, grazing, agricultural infrastructure such as fencing and water pipelines, and a range of crops and fynbos were hardest hit.

“We’ve asked the affected farmers to complete a questionnaire to give us a better understanding of the damage. Our officials will compile this into a report which should be complete towards the end of this month. This final assessment will indicate the full agricultural damages, and help us map the way forward.

“If the assessment finds that farmers need further assistance, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture can submit a funding application to the National Treasury. We would also be able to determine what the greatest need is. This could include fodder in instances where grazing land was destroyed.”

Please see a summary of the hectares damaged below:

Region

Estimated damage

Swartberg/Meiringspoort/ De Rust        

35 000 ha

Witzenberg/Tulbagh                                       

1 500 ha

Paarl/Hawequa                                                  

2 200 ha

Stilbaai/Riversdal                                            

20 000 ha

Haarlem         

8 000 ha

Plettenbergbaai       

20 000 ha

Ruitersbos/Gondwana                                 

10 000 ha

Cederberg/Wupperthal                                               

26 000 ha

In the tourism sector, Minister Winde said Ceres Zipline Adventures, which had incurred damages of about R60 000, had worked together to rebuild infrastructure after a fire at the establishment last year.

“I would like to commend Angelique le Roux and her team at Ceres Zipline Adventures for their swift action after a fire destroyed one of the decks last year. It was the start of their high season, and there would have been considerable financial losses if they were unable to operate for a sustained period of time. The following day, the team at Ceres Zipline Adventures worked around the clock to rebuild the deck, ensuring they were able to resume operations just two days after the fire.”

Minister Winde said farms in the Drakenstein region had reported extensive damage.

Losses in that region include:

  • The historic Augusta Kleinbosch Manor House and some outbuildings were destroyed;
  • The Druk My Niet wine farm, wine cellar, tasting room and cottages have burnt down and there has been extensive damage to the vineyards;
  • The Calais Wine farm Manor House burnt down;
  • Protea farms on the slopes of Du Toitskloof Mountains were severely damage, leaving very few proteas left to harvest.0.
  • The Cascade Manor guest house was not damaged, but the olive groves, pine forest and mountain bike tracks were damaged. This is expected to have a major impact on the establishment’s outdoor activities.

Please see attached map.


For media queries, kindly contact:

Bronwynne Jooste
Spokesperson: Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities
Responsible for Tourism, Economic Development and Agriculture
Western Cape Government
142 Long Street, Cape Town

Tel: 021 483 3550
Cell: 060 970 4301
Email: bronwynne.jooste@westerncape.gov.za
Website: www.elsenburg.com
Twitter: bronwynnejooste