Continual load shedding has caused a significant food security crisis in Gauteng and the nation as a whole, according to the Democratic Alliance (DA).
Due to prolonged blackouts, several firms have been forced to shut, while others have reported running at a loss.
The DA said that the present administration must realise that Eskom’s predicament is about more than simply keeping the lights on; it is about feeding the citizens of Gauteng.
In addition, the party said that South Africa’s cavalier government has been living in a world apart from that of the typical South African and that the national government seems to be unaware of the reality facing the common South African.
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Agriculture Brownwyn Engelbrecht said that a consistent agricultural supply is required to feed a population of around 60 million people, but the rolling blackouts have hampered farmers’ productivity.
Engelbrecht said that it is necessary to have fresh items for sale, but the lack of energy has limited the shelf life of fresh products, resulting in a diminished availability and higher pricing.
Brownwyn Engelbrecht said:
“Poultry farmers are being destroyed as their chicks are being decimated, dying by the thousands. Without electricity, the conveyor belts cannot operate, providing essential feed and water, and without additional heat, the newly hatched chicks die. Moreover, the slaughter of chickens has been radically reduced due to the lack of cold room facilities for storage, packaging, and delivery of chicken meat.”
“Food stored for large consumers, such as the iconic KFC, is facing crises as many stores have reportedly been forced to close due to a ‘chicken in bone’ shortage.”
The DA expressed fear that this would have devastating repercussions, since it will increase our already high unemployment rate. South Africa faces an impending danger of civil upheaval and violence due to the country’s growing unemployment rate.
“We insist that the government and Eskom provide an adaptable load shedding schedule for farmers so that they can get sufficient time to produce food for the market,” the party said.
The DA said that it will write to the Gauteng MEC for Environment, Agriculture, and Rural Development to seek that an emergency money be granted to farmers to help with the current power outage.
“This is the time to start making serious decisions on how to save our agricultural sector before the chickens fly the coop,” the party said.