08 December 2020 - NW2917
Masipa, Mr NP to ask the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development
Whether, with reference to her reply to question 459 for oral reply on 4 November 2020, she will indicate what (a) total number of farmers who were affected by fire were assisted, (b) was the total amount of financial support that was provided to each affected farmer, (c) was the cost of damage caused by fire and (d) are the details of how her department is assisting specifically those farmers with loans from Land Bank who cannot access the input costs to rebuild their herd and their farms?
a) The report submitted by Northern Cape Province indicate a total number of 145 verified farmers affected by veld fires and they were assisted with livestock feed. A total of 82 tons from the provincial fodder banks which is R3000 per ton were provided. Extension services gave all affected farmers notices to collect the fodder from Fodder Bank at Vaalharts Research Station as calculated on listed Large Stock Unit’s per farmer. Free State department agriculture declared a state of fire disaster and requested R15 million from their equitable share to assist 117 farmers and still awaits the disbursement of that amount.
b) No direct financial support has been provided to farmers as yet by both provinces while Free State awaits the disbursement from the provincial department to support the affected farmers.
c) A total number of 44060 hectares (110 for Free State and 43 950 for Northern Cape) have been damaged by fires.
d) According to the preliminary reports submitted by both Northern Cape and Free State, there is no indication of any farmers who need loans to rebuild their farming.
In the meantime, the disaster management act requires that the provinces must reprioritize their budgets to address the immediate needs of affected farmers and then approach National Disaster Management Centre for additional funding.