Agriculture, land reform and rural development minister Thoko Didiza urged people to stop panic buying food after the country suffered an insurrection attempt in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
Didiza has set up a technical team of experts from the agricultural industry and government to monitor food security issues following an emergency meeting with stakeholders in the food and agricultural sectors yesterday.
At the meeting, she was flanked by a number of fellow cabinet members, including acting health minister Mmamoloko Kubayi and Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, minister of small business development. Hot on the agenda was challenges surrounding accessing food, logistics and transport to the parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng that are affected by the week-long unrest.
KZN high on the priority list
“We should also avoid panic buying in other provinces of the country so that the food supply chains can continue functioning, uninterrupted, at an appropriate pace and serve our nation’s food needs,” said Didiza.
She assured South Africans that there was sufficient food supplies in the country although there was reason to worry in at least one province. “The immediate problem in supply chains for the KwaZulu-Natal are getting urgent attention.”
In a statement, the minister described the meeting as “fruitful”. She said as all role players have committed to working with government to respond to the challenges experienced by the food supply chain.
This, especially in KwaZulu-Natal following widespread violent protests and looting of hundreds of shopping malls, stores and factories.
“I wish to thank all stakeholders for their continued commitment to the agricultural sector and also urge our people to be vigilant and protect both government and private infrastructure as it plays a critical role in the production and transportation of food to all citizens,” Didiza said.