Drought persists in North West

The situation in the two North West district municipalities, Ngaka Modiri Molema and Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati, has not changed as the municipalities were still experiencing a severe drought.

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According to African Farmers Association of South Africa (Afasa), although the number was not yet confirmed, hundreds of cattle have died due to the drought. “We are still yet to complete the assessment that will let us know how many cattle have died and to what value is the loss,” said Moses Chichindua, chairperson for Afasa in the Dr RS Mompati district.

According to the North West Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (NWDARD), the summer rains – which came late in December – were below average and did not completely improve the veldt conditions. “The recent heat wave is adversely impacting on the improvement of vegetation,” said Mongezi Goliath, NWDARD spokesperson. Over December the NWDARD handed out fodder to livestock farmers.

Goliath said the department committed R2,1 million for drought relief in the form of fodder. “To date R1,6 million has been spent on the purchase of fodder,” said Goliath. He said 1 143 farmers have already benefitted in the two municipalities.  Meanwhile, Chichindua said they were still investigating what criteria the department used, as it seemed only farmers in communal areas benefitted.

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He said farmers on leased state land and beneficiaries of Land Redistribution and Agricultural Development (LRAD) did not receive any fodder. “We were not informed of what the criteria was and will request meetings with the department to find out,” said Chichindua.