Farmers in the south-western Cape fear that a second cold front set to hit the region this afternoon, might cause further crop damage. The cold front will be accompanied by strong to gale-force winds and very rough seas.
The South African Weather Service (SAWS) warns the cold front will be headed along the coastal areas of the Western Cape, spreading along the Eastern Cape south coast early on Saturday, 26 June.
Will exports be hampered?
An international fruit and vegetable exporter from Cape Town tells Food For Mzansi that this may further slow down the vessels exporting his produce abroad.
Uzair Essack, managing director of Riyp, says his produce has already been taking significantly longer to get to the United Kingdom. Previously, it used to take just two weeks.
“I was actually talking to my client from the UK about this on Wednesday. We normally estimate a two-week transit time but now the shortest transit time we are getting to the UK is three weeks and sometimes even longer,” he says.
W. Cape fears further damage
Furthermore, Western Cape agriculture minister Dr Ivan Meyer tells Food For Mzansi that farmers are still recovering from a storm last month that caused severe damage in Swellendam and the Overberg.
Meyer predicts that the latest cold front could exacerbate matters.
“I went on a site visit to see the damages that were cause by the storm. There was mostly flood-related damage, soil erosion and the fences were also damaged.
“My officials also did a disaster management assessment. They realised that many of the farmers that had planted winter crops had lost them because the rain washed
N. Cape livestock farmers warned
Meanwhile, Agri Northern Cape president Nicol Jansen tells Food For Mzansi that the last cold front has not had a negative impact on their harvests or livestock.
The province is, however, expecting rain over the weekend. They hope that this will reach the winter rainfall areas experiencing drought at the moment.
However, he has issued a warning to livestock farmers whose animals are not in a good condition, especially mohair farmers, to give them shelter early next week. Heavy rains are expected on Monday and Tuesday.
What about Gauteng?
The cold front will not affect Gauteng farmers that much, says Dr Willem Pretorius, president of Agri Gauteng. Farmers in this province are used to the cold conditions, he says, and storms aren’t usually as severe as it is in the Western Cape.
According to the SAWS infrastructure damage is possible over the Central Karoo, Cape Town, Overberg, eastern parts of the Cape Winelands and southern parts of Namaqualand.
The cold front is set to move in over the southwestern Cape on Friday
afternoon, causing scattered showers and rain, and spreading along the south
coast in the evening.
These conditions, coupled with a full moon, are likely to result in
dangerous conditions for vessels at sea. This may result in the risk of medium
or large vessels dragging anchors or breaking mooring lines.