You are here: Home » News-IANS » Business-Economy
Business Standard

South Africa facing worst drought since 1960s

IANS  |  Johannesburg 

South Africa in the past few months has suffered the worst drought since 1960s, Minister of Water Affairs and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane said.

The government on Monday announced the allocation of 350 million rand (about $26 million) to fight the drought that has gripped parts of the country, Xinhua reported.

It comes after several provinces reported severe water shortage, with free state and KwaZulu-Natal province declared "disaster areas" to which water supplies are being delivered by water tankers.

Mokonyane said small dams in parts of the country have dried up.

The government would arrange delivery of water to drought-hit areas, she said, urging "responsible use of water".

Meanwhile, Rand Water, the country's main water supplier, said it might be forced to introduce "water restrictions" in Gauteng province if there was no rainfall in a short time.

Water shortage has reportedly affected 2.7 million households in South Africa.

The drought has also dealt a blow to agricultural production.

Maize crop production is expected to fall from 14.25 million tonnes last year to an estimated 9.84 million tonnes this year, said John Purchase, chief executive officer at South Africa's Agricultural Business Chamber.

This means the country may have to import food to avert shortages, he said.

Significant drops in crop production are also expected in other southern African countries, like Zimbabwe, Malawi, Madagascar and Lesotho, according to the World Food Programme.

Weather forecasters predict the record dry season would continue as the outlook for the coming rain season is not positive.

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Mon, November 02 2015. 16:58 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU