The impact of load-shedding has hit Gauteng residents where it hurts the most: their pockets. The ongoing load-shedding has resulted in farmers charging retailers more for their produce.
This information was revealed in a reply to the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) to the MEC for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mbali Hlophe.
According to MEC Hlophe, fresh produce farmers have been forced to pass the cost of alternative supply of electricity onto retailers, an increased cost borne by the poor consumer.
Furthermore, the price of some goods like chicken, pork, and vegetables has increased due to low supply and high consumer demand.
This is worrying because many of our residents cannot afford basic food items to sustain themselves and their families.
In addition, the Gauteng Provincial Government has failed to indicate exactly how high the cost of food has risen due to load-shedding.
While the government has given some support to agro-processors by providing them with backup generators, the cost of diesel is too high for this to be a sustainable solution.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) will continue to pressure the government to find a long-term solution to ensure that the province is less reliant on Eskom for electricity. If this current situation continues, more jobs will be lost, and the risk of food insecurity will increase.