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Beurtkrag: Landboukrisis dreig | Load shedding: Looming crisis in agriculture

English to follow:

12 Desember 2019

“Eskom het Maandagaand fase-6 beurtkrag vanaf 18:00 tot 22:00 ingestel, wat die Suid-Afrikaanse ekonomie onkant betrap het,” sê Nicol Jansen, voorsitter van Agri SA se Sentrum van Uitnemendheid: Ekonomie en Handel. “Die jongste rondte beurtkrag kom op ’n besondere besige tyd vir produsente en landboubesighede.”

 Beurtkrag het ’n negatiewe impak op energie-intensiewe en besproeiing-afhanklike bedrywe van landbou, regdeur die hele ketting vanaf plaashek tot in die verbruiker se huis. Handhawing van die koue-ketting is krities om kwaliteit van voedsel en rakleeftyd te verseker.

Die tafeldruiwe en varsproduktebedrywe is spesifieke voorbeelde waar beurtkrag in die spitsseisoen ernstige gevolge vir die landbou inhou.

“Alle pakhuise en koelkamers is afhanklik van elektrisiteit,” sê Willem Bestbier, die uitvoerende hoof van die Suid-Afrikaanse Tafeldruiwe Industrie (SATI), ‘n lid van Agri SA se Bedryfskamer.Die produk is hoogs bederfbaar, en handhawing van die koue-ketting en ’n lae-temperatuur-regime vorm deel van formele en wetlik bindende internasionale fitosanitêre maatreëls. Temperatuur-onderbrekings in die fitosanitêre verskepingsprotokol kan produkte vir uitvoerdoeleindes diskwalifiseer. Pakhuise is uiters arbeidsintensief en duisende werksgeleenthede en bruto-uitvoerverdienste van meer as R7 miljard op plaasvlak is onmiddellik in gedrang.”

 “Vrugte is tans in verskillende rypwordingsfases en optimale waterbestuur is krities,” sê Jacques Jordaan, die uitvoerende hoof van die Inmaakvrugte Produsente Vereniging  (IVPV), ’n lid van Agri SA se Bedryfskamer. “Kragonderbrekings het ’n direkte impak op die waterbestuurpraktyke in boorde en watertekorte kan in baie gevalle nie later reggestel word nie. Gevolglik word kleiner vrugte geproduseer wat ‘n verlies aan inkomste vir die hele waardeketting inhou.”

 Verder kan beurtkrag ook ’n negatiewe effek hê op BBP-groei, soos ons vroeër vanjaar gesien het. In ag genome Eskom se onlangse RCA-tariefaansoek (R27 323 miljoen), is die las van beurtkrag selfs meer onaanvaarbaar.

“Ekonomiese groei en werkskepping vir alle Suid-Afrikaners is uiters belangrik,” sê Jansen.

Landbou is bereid om saam met die regering te werk om planne te implementeer tot voordeel van die Suid-Afrikaanse ekonomie.

Ons het ‘n verskeidenheid groenkragoplossings vir die energiekrisis in Suid-Afrika en sal graag wil sien dat Eskom saam met ons werk om die energievoorsieningsnetwerk te diversifiseer met onder andere son- en windenergie” sê Jansen.

 Dit is in belang van die hele land om die energiekrisis in die kort-, medium- en langtermyn op te los.

 Navrae:

Nicol Jansen

Voorsitter – Agri SA Sentrum van Uitnemendheid: Ekonomie en Handel

(S) 082 948 2629

Willem Bestbier

Uitvoerende Hoof: SATI

(S) 083 269 0580

Jacques Jordaan

Uitvoerende Hoof: Inmaakvrugte Produsente Vereniging

(S) 082 577 8476

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“Eskom has implemented stage 6 load shedding from 18:00 to 22:00 on Monday evening, catching the South African economy off guard,” says Nicol Jansen, Agri SA’s chair of the Centre of Excellence: Economics and Trade. “The latest round of load shedding comes at a very important and busy time for producers and agribusinesses.”

Load shedding has a negative impact on energy-intensive and irrigation-dependent agricultural industries, throughout the entire chain from farm gate to the consumer’s home. The maintenance of the cold chain is critical to ensure food quality and shelf life.

The table grape and the fresh produce commodities are specific examples where load shedding in peak season have dire consequences for agriculture.

“All packhouses and cold stores are dependent on electricity,” says Willem Bestbier, the CEO of the South African Table Grape Industry (SATI), a member of Agri SA’s Commodity Chamber. “The product is highly perishable, and maintenance of the cold chain and a cold temperature regime form part of formal and legally binding international phytosanitary measures. Temperature breaks in phytosanitary shipment protocols can disqualify products for export and thousands of jobs and gross export earnings in excess of R7 billion at farm level are at immediate risk.”

“Fruit is currently in different stages of ripening and optimal water management is critical,” says Jacques Jordaan, CEO of the Canning Fruit Producers’ Association (CFPA), a member of Agri SA’s Commodity Chamber. Power outages have a direct impact on water management practices in orchards and in many cases water shortages cannot be corrected later. As a result, smaller fruits are produced that results in a loss of revenue for the entire value chain.”

Furthermore, load shedding will have a negative impact on GDP growth, as was seen earlier this year. Considering Eskom’s recent RCA tariff application (R27 323 million), the burden of load shedding is even more unacceptable.

“We need our economy to grow and create job opportunities for all South Africans,” says Jansen.

 Agriculture is prepared to work with the government to implement plans for the benefit of the South African economy.

“We have a variety of green energy solutions in agriculture and would like to see Eskom work with us to diversify the generation opportunities that includes solar and wind energy” says Jansen.

It is in the interest of the whole country to resolve the energy crisis in the short, medium and long term.

 Enquiries:

Nicol Jansen

Agri SA Chairman: Economics and Trade Centre of Excellence

(C) 082 948 2629

Willem Bestbier

Chief Executive Officer: SATGI

(C) 083 269 0580

Jacques Jordaan

Chief Executive Officer: Canning Fruit Producers’ Association

(C) 082 577 8476