Agricultural industry association Agri SA on Thursday applauded a donation from financial services group Santam to help drought-stricken farmers in the Northern Cape province.
It said the drought in Sutherland had caused a devastating decline in the sheep breeding population and placed the town’s economy under tremendous strain.
“In light of this, leading South African insurer Santam has donated R300,000 to the Agri SA Drought Relief Fund which aims to provide relief to farmers, farm workers and the community of Sutherland,” the farm body said.
The lack of good rainfall since 2013 in the region has resulted in farmland boreholes drying up, making it harder to raise the sheep that are the backbone of the remote farming town.
“It is heart-warming that South Africans and South African corporates are coming out in support of our sheep farmers during this very difficult time,” Agri SA deputy executive director Christo van der Rheede said.
Santam head of stakeholder relations and corporate social investment John Lomberg said the company supported efforts to ensure that South African farmers could continue farming, that there was food security and jobs were protected.
Since its inception in 2015, the Agri SA drought relief fund has assisted thousands of commercial and emerging farmers and their communities, with donations including feed, water, fuel, transport and financial aid. More than R18 million has been received since 2015.
In 2019 the communities of Tosca, Griekwastad, Mossel May, Kenhardt, Willowmore, Aberdeen, Paterson, Hoopstad, Fraserburg and Jansenville have received assistance.
Agri SA said it was also working closely with aid group Gift of the Givers, Caring Daisies, Save the Sheep Sutherland as well as various farmer’s associations and individuals to get relief to farmers and their workers.