South Africa’s economy and businesses are beginning to count their losses from the devastating drought that has wreaked havoc throughout the country.
Economists have warned that the drought will push food inflation higher as farmers scale down production to avoid taking risks on the uncertain weather conditions. This, they said, could ultimately feed into consumer inflation and higher interest rates.
This week reports emerged that crop farming in the North West and Free State provinces had all but come to a halt, with farmers planting less than 10 percent, while in Mpumalanga, planting was at less than 40 percent.
Agri SA executive director Omri van Zyl said the situation was being made worse by the fact that the planting season was already six weeks behind because of the drought.
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