Water scarcity could destroy 200 000 new jobs in agriculture – DA

Party says it is important to learn from current drought to secure sustainable water provision in future

Water scarcity could destroy 200 000 new jobs in agriculture

18 May 2017

A potential 200 000 new jobs by the year 2030 in the Western Cape’s agricultural sector could be threatened if innovative water provision plans are not put into place. This further stresses the need to learn from the current drought already placing incredible strain on the industry and agriculture in order to secure sustainable water provision in future.

I will be prioritising sustainable water provision and retention methods in the Province at the next Standing Committee on Environmental Affairs in cooperation with Minister Anton Bredell. I will also be working closely with the Minister of Economic Opportunities, Tourism, and Agriculture, Alan Winde, to make sure that the Western Cape government is prepared to deal with another drought.

This following a projected spike in water consumption in the coming years in the face of irregular rainfall as a result of climate change, and the findings of the recent water indaba.

Experts suggest that South Africa could see 1 million new jobs in the agriculture sector by 2030. As the Western Cape accounts for 20,93% of South Africa’s commercial agriculture, the largest in the country, this translates to 200 000 potential jobs in the Province alone.

However, this growth can only be secured if water security is scrutinised and reformed in the Province. Innovation must be at the forefront of our Province’s water needs.

Agricultural growth is a powerful catalyst for inclusive economic growth and socio-economic reform, and the DA remains committed to sustaining the Western Cape’s vast agricultural industry, as well as stimulating growth and opportunity in this sector. The health of the Western Cape’s economy, as well as the DA’s vision of creating opportunities for employment in the Province, rests on this endeavour.

Issued by Beverley Schäfer, DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Economic Opportunities, Tourism, and Agriculture, 18 May 2017