Water woes for poultry industry

The South African Poultry Association (SAPA) has revealed that several poultry abattoirs have at one time or another been negatively affected by municipal water supply or quality problems.

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According to a recent report in Beeld, Supreme Poultry in Mahikeng, North West, was the latest victim of this problem.

While Supreme Poultry declined to respond to Farmer’s Weekly’s direct enquiries on the subject, Beeld reported that the company’s Mahikeng poultry abattoir and its local broiler suppliers faced major potential income and job losses as a result of municipal water supply problems.

Beeld said it was in possession of a letter signed by Supreme Poultry managing director Jack Searle indicating that, due to the water supply problems, the company’s abattoir there would likely have to run only one shift instead of the usual two.

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SAPA CEO Kevin Lovell said he was ‘disappointed’ to learn of Supreme Poultry’s water woes. “These are matters that have to be handled at municipal level by individual water users. They are specific in nature and SAPA focuses on general issues,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Mahikeng Local Municipality said it had informed water-users that water supply interruptions would occur due to a supply pipe upgrade at Molopo Oog and that the estimate for the completion of this upgrade was the end of March.

“Moreover, other water sources, such as reservoirs and boreholes, are in the process of being repaired and constructed as well in order for us to fully service our communities,” said spokesperson, Linda Hlatshwayo.

“The other reason for water restrictions was due to the near drought situation that we are facing, which cuts across the entire province.”