The Western Cape’s drought is not only expected to see enormous job losses — with an expected R40m loss in wages — but a rise in prices for some fruit and veg too.

The Western Cape is facing a jobs bloodbath as 50‚000 workers in the agriculture sector might lose their jobs due to the drought.

A rise in prices for some vegetables and fruit may also be on the cards as farmers have been forced to cut production.

During a presentation to Parliament on Wednesday‚ head of the Western Cape local government ministry Graham Paulse painted a grim picture of the agricultural sector. “Social welfare — the impact [will be] significant. It is estimated there will be agricultural job losses in the region of about 50‚000.”

In his report‚ he said the lay-offs could lead to social and humanitarian problems. In addition many might move to the Cape Town metro or other towns to find work.

“[The impact on agriculture] is significant … in Ceres‚ 50% less onions have been planted and 50% less potatoes. This is a direct result of the water shortages in that area with an estimated loss of about R40m in wages to agri-workers‚” said Paulse. “The factory in Lutzville that makes purée out of tomatoes has actually closed for the season.”

Agri Northern Cape

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