WESTERN Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde approved an emergency subsistence support package for designated emerging farmers whose livelihoods and businesses are at risk due to the drought in the West Coast and Central Karoo districts.
According to a statement issued on Wednesday, the decision came after a stringent assessment process was completed on affected farms in the most drought-stricken areas of the province, where it is predicted that more than 60% of total yield may be lost.
The support package has been approved as an interim measure, while the national declaration process is under way. It is targeted at emerging grain farmers who will receive a maximum of R6,500 a month for six months to ensure their food security, and to assist them to remain in the sector.
As part of relief measures, where farmers are battling to pay farmworker wages, the support package will provide a subsidy amounting to 70% of the minimum wage, or R1,824.75 per month, per employee. This support will be paid to the identified farmworkers for a period of not more than six months.
In total, the approved support package amounts to R655,914.