kzn gauteng riots latest food security

Woolworths store in Fourways, Gauteng after the recent riots. Photo: Supplied

Food shortages: KZN, Gauteng SUPPLY CRISIS expected ‘within weeks’

Agri SA have warned that the riots in Gauteng and KZN will have an impact on food supply in a matter of weeks, as price hiking continues.

kzn gauteng riots latest food security

Woolworths store in Fourways, Gauteng after the recent riots. Photo: Supplied

Food security remains a concern in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and Gauteng after violent riots and looting led to supply shortages and opportunistic price hikes in affected areas. As a result, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has called for a task team to be established in order to ensure that residents in the devastated provinces don’t go hungry. 

DA calls for task team of food security  

Annette Steyn, the DA’s Shadow Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, said in a statement on Sunday 1 August that her opposite number in National Government, Thoko Didiza, needs to get a handle on issues relating to the impact of the riots on food security. 

She said that millions of South Africans have been left unemployed with little to no income after the riots crippled industry in the two provinces, and said that a host of surviving retailers have resorted to price hiking in areas where they have a monopoly as the only source of food store available.

“While President Ramaphosa has extended the R350 grant, this may not be enough to cover basic commodities in provinces affected by the recent unrest, and history has shown that government incompetence severely delays this financial relief from landing in the pockets of those who need it,” she said. 

“As a result, residents are poorer than before, getting far less for their money, and queues have begun to snake around any remaining retail outlets and food distribution centres due to increased pressure on remaining food stores.”

Steyn insisted that South Africa has enough food available to feed everyone, but said that a task team must focus on “reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable nutritious food”, citing reports that there is a “looming food security crisis”. “The Minister must intervene to bolster food supply and ensure basic food affordability,” she said. 

Agri SA warn of impending supply  

Steyn said that Agri SA has warned of imminent issues relating to food production capacities “within three weeks”, and said that if this critical concern is not addressed, desperate, hungry and unemployed KZN and Gauteng residents may once again mobilise as they did during the July riots.

“Indications from Agri SA are that immense pressure on the agricultural sector can be expected within three weeks. It is clear from reports that panic has already set in,” she said. 

“The imminent crisis provides the perfect environment for the desperate to be mobilised again – even more so than the days following the arrest of Jacob Zuma. If there is anything we have learned from the past 3 weeks, it is that government must address a looming crisis when it has been warned of one.”