Agri SA is concerned that the recent wave of attacks on trucks may also jeopardize food security and has appealed to pres. Cyril Ramaphosa did to deploy the army to protect the country’s important transport routes together with the police.
This includes in particular the routes connecting main markets with ports.
“South Africa, in its dire economic situation, simply cannot afford to give up vital export revenue to uncontrolled crime,” says Jaco Minnaar, president of Agri SA, after more than 20 trucks have been stolen since the weekend in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo. was set on fire.
Minnaar says it is not only essential that truck drivers are protected, but also the valuable cargo they transport. Agri SA is also concerned that crime on the roads will soon deter international investors.
“Apart from the costs incurred due to the destruction of the trucks, the situation also creates an additional financial burden on producers who are forced to pay for more safety measures and higher insurance premiums. Often producers also pay fines due to shipping delays.”
Minnaar says it is especially important for the agricultural sector that the authorities intervene.
“Data for the first quarter of this year shows that South Africa’s agricultural exports reached $2.9 billion, while agricultural imports amounted to $1.7 billion. This net trade surplus of $1.2 billion (9% more compared to the same period last year) is essential for the South African economy.
“Farmers are already facing a general logistical crisis caused by a failed rail network, dilapidated rural roads and congested ports. Violence on our province’s highways adds another level of uncertainty that further hinders economic growth.”