Drought hits GDP numbers - Annette Steyn

DA MP say latest figures show agricultural sector shrinking dramatically

GDP figures show drought catching up with ailing economy 

01 March 2016

The DA is deeply concerned about the future of the agriculture sector in South Africa, after fourth quarter and overall full year Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers for 2015 were released by Stats SA today. The figures show an agriculture sector shrinking at an alarming rate, a culmination of inadequate government planning and economic stimuli, deepened by the effects of the current drought gripping the whole country.

According to the report, the agricultural sector shrunk by 14% during the 4th quarter of 2015, and by 8.4% from 2014 to 2015. This is the largest decline in the sector since 1995. 

Since the outbreak of the drought, 37 000 jobs in agriculture have been lost. There has also been a knock-on effect on the manufacturing sector, where 36 000 jobs have been lost, mostly in food processing. 

If we do not unite in actively fighting the drought, South Africa’s economy will be brought to its knees, placing food security at great risk and leading to unaffordable food price inflation. The DA therefore again urges government to declare the current drought a national disaster in order to provide a coordinated response to the disaster.

Statement issued by Annette Steyn MP, DA Shadow Minister of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries, 2 March 2016