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Gov addresses citizens fuel, food concerns

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LOCAL 

Government has assured South Africans that citizens will not suffer food shortages.

It comes amid concern over food security, as both Russia and Ukraine are exporters of food such as wheat.

Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister, Thoko Didiza, met with stakeholders in the industry this weekend to discuss the impact of the conflict on the local economy.

Didiza had urged the public to avoid panic buying, reiterating that South Africa has enough food supplies for its population and neighbouring countries.

Agricultural group Southern African Agri Initiative (Saai) however said that export farmers are suffering due to poor service delivery, negligence and incompetence at South African ports.

Board director Theo de Jager says this results in millions of rand in damage to producers, the erosion of South African competitiveness in international markets and job losses on farms. According to De Jager, government’s preoccupation with cadre deployment impoverishes South Africans at all levels.

Moreover, it is the poorest part of the population that suffers the most due to job losses and unemployment rates.

Meanwhile, SAAI also took Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe to court over citizens’ restrictions at the pumps.

Consumers can, from this weekend, now buy petrol and diesel in containers again. The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy banned the practice during the July unrest last year due to concerns looters could plunder fuel resources.

SAAI submitted court papers to compel the department to withdraw the regulations.

By Tauhierah Salie

VOC


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