14 July 2021 – The agriculture industry is on high alert as violence and lawlessness continue to sweep the country.
“It’s the peak citrus production season, with large volumes of citrus to the value of approximately R592 million having to be transported weekly to the Durban harbour,” said Agri SA president, Pierre Vercueil.
“Any disruption could lead to financial losses for producers and will prevent the products from reaching international markets on time.”
Just last week a citrus shipment worth R15 million en route to the Port of Durban was destroyed in the violence that brought traffic to a standstill as mobs set fire to objects on main highways such as the N3 and N2.
“Agri SA has also received reports that sugarcane fields and other crops have been set alight in KwaZulu-Natal. Producers are unable to extinguish the fires as they fear for their lives. The situation has also affected livestock farmers whose feed stocks have been set alight, while various sawmills have also been closed.”
He said reports indicated that the police could not provide producers with the necessary protection – and in some instances did not know how to deal with the situation.
“Agri SA urgently calls on the minister of police to make additional police resources available in the province to assist the producers in preventing further arson attacks.” The organisation has welcomed the government’s decision to deploy the Defence Force in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in support of the police. Source (Freight News