Western Cape farmers


Good news: Western Cape farmers receive an R8m windfall to fight drought

A fantastic move from the local government, who will be giving Western Cape farmers a huge slice of financial support at a difficult time.

Western Cape farmers


Farmers in the drought-stricken Western Cape are set for a major boost in their fight against the torrid conditions after the DA’s Beverley Schafer pledged R8.3 million per month to get the water flowing in the worst-affected regions.

Schafer is the minister of economic opportunities in the province. As The Citizen report, her department embarked on a tour of the Central Karoo last week, where they were investigating the severe extent of the problems.

Drought in the Western Cape

The Western Cape’s drought nightmare didn’t just begin last year. The “day zero” fears were a symptom of the issue, rather than a cause. The region has been battling against dry, unforgiving elements for the past four years.

Large areas of vegetation have been completely wiped out, and it’s having a devastating effect on the local eco-system. Animals are no longer able to graze in certain parts of the wild, with many species struggling to survive. According to one farmer, this has forced baboons to start killing and eating private livestock, as their food supplies dwindle.

Why Karoo farmers need support

However, the department of agriculture in the Western Cape has upped their financial aid, deciding to invest money into the ongoing situation on a monthly basis, rather than the current bi-monthly schedule. Schafer explained why they’ve made this choice:

“The farmers I met with had various ideas for ways in which farmers in the region could be supported and assisted and we will be investigating how best to do this.”

“Farmers are reliant on the fodder support which they receive from the department, as well as donations. Despite drastically reducing their herd sizes, they told me it’s just not enough.”

Beverley Schafer

It’s estimated that a total of 586 Karoo farmers will feel the benefit of this particular donation. Then payments of R8.3 million will be invested on a recurring monthly basis.

The Western Cape government have also stepped up their efforts to rehabilitate the Calitzdorp Water Treatment Plant in the Kannaland Municipality, as the province continues to wrestle with drought constraints.