Today's Labour News

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westerncape thumb medium80 80BusinessLive reports that Western Cape finance MEC Ivan Meyer said in his budget speech on Wednesday that the drought has halted economic growth in the province.  Agriculture and agri-processing‚ which together produced goods and services worth R54bn‚ had been hard hit‚ he indicated.  

Meyer told the provincial legislature in Cape Town:  “A report by the Department of Agriculture in collaboration with the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy estimates that the impact of the drought equates to an average production decline of about 20%...  The impact of the drought is already evident in record wheat production losses.  Export volumes of agricultural products from the province are expected to decline between 13% and 20% this year."  On top of this‚ avian flu had cost poultry farmers in the province R800m‚ and thunderstorms and hail recently destroyed about 200‚000 cartons of late-season plums.  The drought also had a major impact on jobs:  "The combined average agricultural employment for the second‚ third‚ and fourth quarters of 2017 compared to 2016 was a decline of 31‚000 jobs.  Looking at actual employment numbers and comparing the average employment numbers per quarter of 2015 and 2016 to those of 2017 — the drop is even more severe."

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