MEALIE- MEALIE SUPPLY DECLINES AS DROUGHT PERSISTS
By: Thalente Ncube
Farmers from within the province lose hope with their harvests as meteorologists are predicting a low rainfall in KwaZulu-Natal.
The province is faced with a critical stage of water shortages as conditions continues being humid.
Dams are drying up, water demand is high and farmers lose their investments on farms.
Zandile Msweli, a street vendor who sells mealies along the market, shared her frustration as she fears she will lose her mealie-mealie business.
“I thought that this was just a temporal issues, our suppliers had now increased their service fees they use to supply us mealies for, I’m not working this is how I survive and I don’t know
what will happen with my kids if things continue this way,” said Msweli.
According to Phineas Gumede, Agriculture South Africa’s deputy director, the Hazelmere Dam (in Verulam) which supplies cities such as Durban, Pietermaritzburg and other District
municipalities is constrained as water percentage had dropped to 51 percent.
“Comprehensive water supply strategy is rumoured around the city and its surrounding areas, as water will be switched off for at least six hours a day,” said Mandla Malakoane for the
“We as the organisation tasked to facilitate the agricultural sector, we would like to send a strong caution to farmers, lets priorities what we sow to carter for these unfavourable weather
conditions,” he added.
Recent reports on various media and public platforms have attributed that this drought will not only hit hard on budding farmers as Hullet, a sugar milling company in Tongaat which
has closed due to lack of water.
“AgriSA represents more than 70,000 small and large scale commercial farmers in all respective areas of focus, so we are obliged to assist them as well,” added Gumede.
“Mealie-mealie price is going to rise from R5 to R6 to meet incurred cost from suppliers,” said Msweli.