Massive disaster, says MEC for agriculture


Press Release
The West Coast Disaster Management Centre has been coordinating various rescue and humanitarian relief interventions in the West Coast region. The floods in the area affected all five local municipalities in the West Coast region with Cederberg and Matzikama being the hardest hit with road infrastructure and agricultural land suffering severe damage. Partnership between the district municipality, provincial government, local municipalities, private sector and NGO’s enabled reaction teams to get some relief and assistance to affected communities.

The heavy rain in the province caused flooding and substantial damage in low laying areas.
Today the MEC for Agriculture in the Western Cape, Dr Ivan Meyer, the Executive Mayor at the West Coast District Municipality, Alderman Boffie Strydom, and senior officials briefed the media about the state of communities and the impact of the floods on the agriculture sector.
Dr Meyer described the recent floods as a “Massive Disaster” and that the disruptions in the agricultural value chain will have a major negative impact on the local economy.

At the media briefing. The MEC for Agriculture in the Western Cape, Dr Ivan Meyer (second from left) and the Executive Mayor at the West Coast District Municipality, Alderman Boffie Strydom (second from right).

“We need to protect life, we must protect and restore the agriculture sector, we must see to the well being of the farming communities, and we must restore the infrastructure which was damaged by the floods. These will be our focus areas as Provincial Government and as the Department of Agriculture. My purpose is to support the farmers and we will be doing a proper risk assessment to see what we can do to help,” Meyer said.
Along with the Alderman Boffie Strydom, and key stakeholders in the agriculture sector a short-term plan to support the agricultural sector in the West Coast region was plotted.

Strydom emphasized the importance of partnerships during times of struggle in communities. “I am pleased that our Disaster Management Centre could action effective support interventions to help the communities in need. The pro-active and collaborative actions by government and private sector ensured that relief efforts reached the communities swiftly. We will continue to work with the local municipalities to repair some of the damage in the areas,” he added.
(Press release)

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