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Govt won't pay for flood-damaged crops

Jan 18 2011 22:17 Sapa

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Bloemfontein - Government will not compensate farmers for their flood-damaged crops, Minister of Agriculture Tina Joemat-Pettersson said on Tuesday.

The government would, however, provide "relief and assistance" where infrastructure was damaged and displaced farm workers needed food parcels.

"Where there is damage to infrastructure government would assist. However, government will not ... offer compensation for any damage to crops," she said in a statement.

Her office said the issue of crop damage was an insurance matter.

"We hope that the farmers will be able to recover their losses through their insurance companies," a ministry statement said.

Joemat-Pettersson said past experience proved that government had always prioritised the plight of people, especially the most vulnerable in the society.

"We will provide everything possible in terms of evacuation, food parcels and to assist with the restoration of the damaged infrastructure."

Provinces affected by the floods, especially those that had been declared disaster areas could also apply to Treasury for financial relief, she said.

Agricultural body, TAU SA, on Tuesday said farmers also needed relief of disaster funding.

TAU SA president Ben Marais said the body appreciated the fast action by several ministers to visit the flood-stricken regions.

If the position of farmers, as employers, was not addressed the consequences for farm workers and their families would deteriorate accordingly.

"With much of their security lost in the floods, the ability of farmers to service their financial commitments will indeed be under severe pressure."

Marais urged Joemat-Pettersson to approach the flood situation in "an holistic manner" to ensure employers also benefited from disaster support from government.
floods  |  agriculture  |  farms
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