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FoodForward SA warns of load-shedding and truck attacks’ impact on ability to provide food

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FoodForward South Africa, a food redistribution organisation, has issued a warning about the impact load-shedding and attacks on the freight industry can have on the country’s ability to provide enough food for its population.

At least 21 trucks were recently set alight in attacks on the country’s roads, while the country continued to endure higher levels of load-shedding due to heightened winter demand and generating unit breakdowns at Eskom.

Five men accused of torching trucks in Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo appeared in the Ermelo magistrate’s court in KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday. The case was postponed to August 10 for a formal bail application.

FoodForward SA MD Andy du Plessis said agriculture, logistics and food distribution organisations were forced to deal with a range of existential threats over which they have little control.

“The biggest threats to the viability of supply chain organisations feeding our country are load-shedding and the surge in truck attacks, which also increase food prices,” said Du Plessis.

He called on government and civil society to quicken their efforts to find solutions to the two crises.

“If we don’t commit ourselves to solving load-shedding and truck violence urgently, the country risks being overwhelmed by hunger and desperation, which will undermine the very fabric of our society. If things get much worse, we will not be able to feed our people,” he said.

He noted the need for food aid in South Africa was higher than ever, given the cost of living crisis.

“Wherever it becomes harder to produce food, or less food is produced, the net result is food becomes more expensive and more communities become food insecure. Food insecurity is the most fundamental threat to the stability of any country.”

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