The Democratic Alliance (DA) has written to the Free State Premier, Sefora Ntombela, regarding the impact of heavy rains on local communities, especially the agricultural sector.
The agricultural sector in the Free State is the only economic sector that has been projected to grow in 2021 and in fact also grew considerably in 2020 in spite of lockdowns. This sector experienced a setback due to veld fires in 2020 and has now experienced a further setback in some areas due to localised flooding and serious damage to roads.
Roads remain the lifeline for this sector and the state of many roads in the province comprise a local disaster that will seriously impact on their ability to deliver and access goods and services as well as get access to emergency and other services. The economic impact of the floods as well as the poor state of the local roads infrastructure requires priority intervention from government.
The agricultural sector sustains local economies and jobs across the province through a complex value chain of economic activities. The Free State also remains one of South Africa’s most strategic commodity producing provinces and contributes greatly to national food security.
The assistance of the provincial government will require a multi-departmental approach and that is why the DA the Premier’s intervention as head of the Provincial Executive Committee.