Agri SA believes South Africa needs a disaster, such as a drought, to force government to reflect on mining and food security.
Rampant mining in South Africa was “eating the country’s resources”, Agri SA deputy president Theo de Jager said at the SA Water and Energy Forum’s annual conference in Johannesburg, Beeld reported today.
Government would show its true colours if the country experienced a severe drought which threatened food security.
“Since 1994, this government has not had to manage a drought. If it happens, the government will have to decide very quickly how the country’s resources should be used,” he was quoted as saying.
According to the newspaper, he said Agri SA had spoken to government about resources, but to no avail, as South African farmers were currently producing more food than the country needed.
In respect of the conflict between agriculture and mining, De Jager reportedly referred to Mpumalanga, where maize production had drastically fallen and animals were dying because of mining pollution, and said there was a conflict of interest.
“Just like the mining industry, farmers also want to expand. However, this creates a crisis because we need to use the same resources.”
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