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Agri SA is bekommerd oor die negatiewe impak van beurtkrag op landbou | Agri SA concerned by the negative impact of load shedding on agriculture

English to follow….

11 Februarie 2019

Agri SA is bekommerd oor die negatiewe impak van beurtkrag op landbou

Agri SA erken die pogings deur Eskom om die ligte aan te hou, maar is bekommerd oor die moontlike negatiewe impak wat beurtkrag op die landbousektor en die breër waardeketting kan hê.

Elektrisiteit is ’n belangrik insetkoste vir baie boere, veral dié boere wat op besproeiing staat maak. Die landbousektor het sowat R146 miljard op intermediêre goedere en dienste in 2017/2018 spandeer, waarvan elektrisiteit R7 miljard (5%) beloop het.

“Beurtkrag sal ’n impak op besproeiing-afhanklike en energie-intensiewe-bedrywe soos tuinbou-, suiwel-, pluimvee-, graan- en agro-verwerkingsbedrywe hê,” sê Nicol Jansen, voorsitter van Agri SA se Sentrum van Uitnemendheid: Ekonomie en Handel. “Die negatiewe impak raak produsente sowel as verbruikers, omdat dié sub-sektore ’n belangrike rol het om Suid-Afrika se voedselsekerheid te verseker. Meer as 25% van die land se kos word deur dié besproeiing-afhanklike en energie-intensiewe-bedrywe produseer.”

Agri SA het op 22 Januarie met Eskom vergader, om moontlike opsies te bespreek op die negatiewe impak van beurtkrag op die landbousektor te mitigeer. Binne die konteks van voedselsekerheid het Agri SA vir Eskom versoek om die landbousektor van fase 1 beurtkrag uit te sluit. Eskom het egter aangedui dat dit nie moontlik sal wees nie, aangesien dié sektor nie deur ‘n toegewyde landbounetwerk gediens word nie en dat ander belanghebbendes op dieselfde wyse deur beurtkrag geraak word.

Beurtkrag kan besproeiingsaktiwiteite affekteer (1) direk deurdat boere nie hul elektriese pompe tydens hul waterbeurte kan gebruik nie en/of (2) indirek deur dat beurtkrag by sleutel-besproeiingskema-pompstasies kan plaasvind. In laasgenoemde geval mag ’n boer toegang tot elektrisiteit hê, maar die pompstasies word deur beurtkrag geraak of andersom. Om die koördineringsprobleme op te los, sal Agri SA se provinsiale lede met Eskom-verteenwoordigers in hul onderskeie provinsies vergader om dié sleutel-pompstasies te identifiseer asook om die impak van beurtkrag op die stasies te minimaliseer.

Agri SA sal voortgaan om die beurtkrag-situasie te monitor en aktief Eskom te betrek om die moontlike negatiewe impak op landbou te verminder.

Navrae:

Nicol Jansen

Agri SA Voorsitter: Ekonomie en Handel Sentrum van Uitnemendheid

(S) 082 948 2629

Dr Requier Wait

Agri SA Hoof: Ekonomie en Handel Sentrum van Uitnemendheid

(C) 073 304 0932

11 February 2019

Agri SA concerned by the negative impact of load shedding on agriculture

Agri SA acknowledges Eskom’s efforts to keep the lights on, but we are concerned by the potential negative impact that load shedding can have on the agricultural sector and the broader value chain.

Electricity is an important input cost for many farmers, especially farmers that depend on irrigation. The agricultural sector spent approximately R146 billion on intermediate goods and services in 2017/2018, of which electricity amounted to R7 billion (5%).

“Load shedding will have an impact on irrigation-reliant and energy-intensive industries like the horticulture, dairy, poultry, grains and agro-processing industry,” said Nicol Jansen, chairman of Agri SA’s Centre of Excellence: Economics and Trade. “The negative impact affects producers as well as the end consumer as these sub-sectors play a vital role towards ensuring South Africa’s food security. Over 25% of the country’s food is produced by irrigation-reliant and energy-intensive industries.”

Agri SA had a meeting with Eskom on 22 January, to discuss possible avenues to mitigate the negative impact of load shedding on agriculture. Within the context of food security, Agri SA requested Eskom to at least exclude agriculture from stage 1 load shedding. However, Eskom indicated that this would not be possible since agriculture is not serviced by a dedicated agriculture network and that other stakeholders are similarly affected by load shedding.

Load shedding can affect irrigation activities (1) directly in terms of load shedding experienced by farmers who cannot utilize their electric pumps during their access window to water and/or (2) indirectly by the load shedding of key irrigation scheme pump stations. In the latter case, a farmer may have access to electricity, but the irrigation scheme pump stations may be affected by load shedding (or vice versa). To resolve this specific coordination problem, our provincial members will engage with the Eskom representatives in their respective provinces, to identify key irrigation scheme pump stations and how the load shedding of these key pump stations can be minimized.

Agri SA will continue to monitor the load shedding situation and actively engage with Eskom to minimize the potential negative impact on agriculture.

Enquiries:

Nicol Jansen

Agri SA Chairman: Economics and Trade Centre of Excellence

(C) 082 948 2629

Dr Requier Wait

Agri SA Head: Economics and Trade Centre of Excellence

(C) 073 304 0932