Mzansi’s vibrant farming sector is always abuzz with activity stretching to all corners of the country. These are the top three things you should take note of happening in South Africa’s dynamic agricultural space today.
1Petrol, diesel price hikes take effects today
Minister of mineral resources and energy Gwede Mantashe released the new schedule of fuel prices motorists and agriculturalists transporting goods will, from today, pay more for diesel, petrol and illuminating paraffin. He stated that the key contributor to the hike in prices was an increase in the global oil price.
In a statement, Mantashe said the the main reason for the higher oil prices is because major economies around the world began to ease the coronavirus lockdown measures amid the production cut by OPEC and Russia.
Petrol, diesel prices that come into effect this morning
- Petrol (both 93 ULP and LRP) will increase by R1.63/l;
- Petrol (both 95 ULP and LRP) will increase by R1.72/l;
- Diesel (0.05% sulphur) will increase by R1.73/l;
- Diesel (0.005% sulphur) will increase by R1.69/l; and
- Illuminating Paraffin (wholesale): will increase by R2.14/l.
2 Farmers urged to be safe as veld fire season starts
The fire season in most of South Africa has kicked off and land users and farmers are advised to exercise extreme caution to prevent veld fires during winter. In summer rainfall areas, fire is used in winter as an ecological tool in biodiversity management of protected areas, says the Fire Protection Association of Southern Africa (FPASA). However, veld fires are a serious threat to the agricultural sector and farmers are urged to take note of risk-reduction measures.
Fires stimulate nutritious grazing by removing moribund material and encourages renewed growth, particularly with grasses. It also draws livestock or game to grazing areas that are underutilised.
While there are a number of benefits to using firing, accidental wildfires can lead to several problems and can become a threat to the lives of humans and animals.
Farmers, farm dwellers and motorists are encouraged to act wisely when dealing with open fires and when operating machinery or smoking. They must continue practicing precautionary measures to help prevent veld fires. Motorists and pedestrians are also urged not to throw cigarette butts into the veld.
Your local Fire Protection Association (FPA) should be able to provide guidance on what your legal requirements are regarding burning. In addition, guidance can be provided on the local interpretation of the National Veld and Forest Fire Act (Act No.101 of 1998) and the Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act (No. 43 of 1983) and what your legal requirements are regarding burning.
For more information about fire safety management, contact FPASA on 011 397 1618 or visit www.fpasa.co.za
3North West agri-colleges starts phased opening
Third-year-students are today commencing their studies at the Taung and Potchefstroom agricultural colleges in North West. This after the respective colleges heeded the call for a phased reopening of learning institutions under level three of the nation-wide coronavirus lockdown.
Students at the Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute have also returned to their campus and will now be attending a weeklong winter school in preparation for the exams. Strict measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus have been introduced at the institution, as well as other agricultural colleges, most of which have already resumed lectures.