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Kwanalu

The voice of agriculture . Die stem van landbou . Izwe lezokulima

Kabeldiefstal veroorsaak chaos by Johannesburg-mark en ondermyn produkgehalte en -veiligheid /Cable theft causes havoc at Johannesburg market – compromises product quality and safety

English to follow:

Die Johannesburg-varsproduktemark ervaar sedert 26 Oktober 2021 ernstige uitdagings as gevolg van kabeldiefstal.

“Die gebrek aan elektrisiteit het ook ’n rampspoedige uitwerking op die gehalte en veiligheid van landbouprodukte,” sê Christo van der Rheede, uitvoerende direkteur van Agri SA.

Die kragtoevoer is nog nie herstel nie. “Dit is onaanvaarbaar vir ’n mark wat daagliks landbouprodukte aan 15 miljoen mense lewer.”

Agri SA doen ’n beroep op die burgemeester en stadsraad van Johannesburg om alles in hul vermoë te doen om kragvoorsiening aan die mark te herstel. Daarbenewens moet die nodige sekuriteitsmaatreëls in plek wees om diefstal van elektriese kabels in die toekoms te voorkom.

“Tydens kragonderbrekings is die mark nie in staat om krag aan die koelkamers te voorsien nie. Dit beteken dat hierdie koelkamers sedert 26 Oktober 2021 sonder krag sit, met rampspoedige gevolge vir landbouprodukte. Die waarde van voorraad in die koelkamers word geraam op tussen R30 miljoen en R61 miljoen.”

Die temperatuur in die koelkamers moet ±2°C wees. Weens die gebrek aan elektrisiteit, is die temperatuur tans bó 10°C. “Dit het ’n erg nadelige uitwerking op die varsheid en gehalte van produkte wat in koelkamers geberg moet word.”

Rypwordingskamers ervaar dieselfde probleem, aangesien rypwordingsiklusse ernstig hierdeur geraak word, met massiewe verliese vir produsente weens onder meer swak rypwordingsgehalte. Hierdie verliese word geraam op ongeveer R500 000,00 per dag.

Die mark het opwekkers wat slegs krag aan verkoopslokale voorsien. Dié kragopwekkers word snags afgeskakel en agente moet hul eie kragopwekkers gebruik vir beligting. Dit het ernstige veiligheidsimplikasies, aangesien dit gevaarlik is om in die donker te werk en ’n risiko vir werknemers inhou.

Van der Rheede wys daarop dat kabeldiefstal deurlopend voorkom en die saak is reeds by verskeie geleenthede met die stad se administrasie opgeneem. “Tydens onlangse vergaderings is addisionele veiligheidsmaatreëls aangevra by sekere plekke waar kabeldiefstal gereeld voorkom.”

Agri SA vra vir onmiddellike optrede en versoek stadsbeamptes om kragvoorsiening aan die Johannesburg-mark te herstel, aangesien ondermyning van die veiligheid en gehalte van landbouprodukte teenstrydig is

met die Wet op Landbouprodukstandaarde. “Agri SA doen dus ’n beroep op die Stad van Johannesburg op dringend in te gryp en om kragvoorsiening aan die mark te herstel, te handhaaf en te beskerm. Produsente betaal 5% op alle verkope oor aan die Stad van Johannesburg, wat R450 miljoen per jaar bedra, en verwag dus dat die mark in ’n goeie werkende toestand sal wees. Hulle verwag diens!”

Navrae

Christo van der Rheede

Agri SA: Uitvoerende Direkteur

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 Johannesburg market is facing serious challenges due to cable theft since 26 October 2021.

“The lack of electricity has a disastrous impact on the quality and safety of agricultural products,” says Christo van der Rheede, Agri SA executive director.

At the present moment the power has still not been restored. “This is unacceptable for a market that provides agricultural products to 15 million people daily.”

Agri SA appeals to the Johannesburg City mayor and council to do everything in their power to restore electricity supply to the Johannesburg market. And to put the necessary security measures in place to prevent the theft of electricity cables in future.

“During power outages the market does not have the ability to supply power to the cold storage rooms. This has resulted in these storage rooms operating without cooling since 26 October 2021, with disastrous consequences to agricultural products. The value of stock in these cold rooms amounts to between R30 million and R61 million rand.”

The temperature in cold storage rooms should be running at ±2°C. Due to a lack of electricity, the temperature is currently above 10°C and it is compromising the freshness and quality of products relying on cold storage tremendously.

Ripening rooms have the same issue as ripening cycles are totally compromised, resulting in massive losses to producers due to poor ripening quality etc. “The losses by producers are estimated at around R500 000,00 per day.”

The market has generators that can only supply power to sales areas. At night these generators are switched off and agents have to then run their own generators to provide lighting. This poses serious safety consequences as working in darkness is dangerous and compromises worker safety.

Van der Rheede says that cable theft is an ongoing occurrence and the issue was raised with the city administration on several occasions. “During recent meetings additional security at critical areas where cable theft is a regular occurrence, was requested.”

Agri SA is calling for immediate action and for city officials to restore the power to the Johannesburg market. “Compromising the safety and quality of agricultural products is in contravention of the Agricultural Products Standards Act. Hence, urgent intervention by the City to restore, maintain and protect the electricity supply to the market is therefore required. Producers do pay 5% of all sales over to the City of Johannesburg, which amounts to R450 million per annum and expect in return that the market is in a good operational state. They do expect service!”

Enquiries

Christo van der Rheede

Agri SA Executive Director