NAMPO: Talking to farmers about reducing the cost of the food crisis – John Steenhuisen

John Steenhuisen |

September 19, 2022

AD chief says it has become clear the government has no plan to protect vulnerable South Africans from spiraling food price inflation

NAMPO 2022: Talking to farmers about tackling the cost of the food crisis in South Africa

September 17, 2022

Today I will be attending the NAMPO Agriculture Show in Bredasdorp in the Overberg District of the Western Cape, where I will engage with farmers and other industry players on the evolving cost of the food crisis in South Africa. See the pictures here, here and here.

This important exhibition and discussion forum, organized by the National Maize Producers Organization (NAMPO) and Grain SA, is the place for the exchange of ideas and innovations in the agricultural sector and can play a central role in our nation’s efforts to maintain food security.

What has become clear is that the national government has no plan to protect vulnerable South Africans from spiraling food price inflation, and if we are to be successful in tackling this crisis, many solutions will have to come from elsewhere. Fortunately, our country has long taken a whole-of-society approach to solving our many problems, and the agricultural sector is no exception.

Recent studies have revealed that the cost of South Africa’s food crisis is far greater than the government suggests, and is taking a heavy toll on millions of poor South Africans. 81% of households skip at least one daily meal and 41% say they can no longer feed their family. One of the most shocking statistics revealed is that stunting and wasting in children now affects 27% of children under 5 years old. In an upper middle income country like South Africa, this figure is unacceptable.


Daily hunger and malnutrition also impact schoolchildren’s ability to concentrate and learn, as well as lead to diet-related illnesses and impaired brain development in adolescents, not to mention the risk of starvation. And in this pressure cooker situation, there is also the greatly increased risk of social instability and riots that would lead to further damage to infrastructure, business closures, divestments, job losses, flight of skills, loss of tax revenue and disruption of service delivery.

Nine days ago, the DA sent President Ramaphosa a plan consisting of five interventions that will provide immediate relief to the cost of the food crisis. We presented this plan to him in time for his Finance Minister, Enoch Godongwana, to include these interventions in his Medium Term Fiscal Policy Statement (MTBPS) in October, as this would be the perfect opportunity to address the issue in a significant and immediate. .

These five actions are:

1. Reduce fuel taxes and levies to lower the cost of transportation