Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde, today approved an emergency subsistence support package for designated emerging farmers whose livelihoods and businesses are at risk due to the drought in the West Coast and Central Karoo Districts.
Today’s announcement came after a stringent assessment process was completed on affected farms in our most drought-stricken areas, where it is predicted that more than 60 per cent of total yield may be lost.
The support package has been approved as an interim measure while the national declaration process is underway. It is targeted at emerging grain farmers who will receive a maximum of R6500 a month for 6 months to ensure their food security, and to assist them to remain in the sector.
As part of relief measures, where farmers are battling to pay farmworker wages, the support package will provide a subsidy amounting to 70% of the minimum wage, or R1824.75 per month, per employee. This support will be paid to the identified farmworkers for a period of not more than 6 months.
In total, the approved support package amounts to R655 914. The Department of Agriculture’s Farmworker Support and Development Unit will work to ensure the smooth roll out of the disbursements.
Minister Winde said: “The support package approved today is aimed at safeguarding the livelihood of emerging farmers and farmworkers who have been very badly affected by the drought. The majority of the farms which will receive support are expected to suffer an over 80 per cent loss in yield. We have taken this decision after a stringent assessment process, and as part of our commitment to furthering land reform in our province. We need to support our emerging farmers through this time to ensure that they remain in the sector and continue to grow.”
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