The FF Plus welcomes the decision by the Free State Premier, Sisi Ntombela, to, in consultation with the provincial government, declare the Free State a provincial disaster area. This is after runaway fires destroyed more than 100 000 hectares of natural pasture, which brought the agricultural community to its knees.
This is according to Tammy Breedt, FF Plus MP and chief spokesperson: Agriculture.
Tammy Breedt said that: ‘When the fires started, the FF Plus sent an official letter to the MEC for Cooperative Governance, Thembeni Nxangisa, requesting that the affected areas must be declared disaster areas. The FF Plus, furthermore, asked that government aid, both on national and provincial level, must be provided to farmers seeing as the fires were caused by unhappy residents of the Tokologo Local Municipality who had committed arson in protest.’
‘The government is directly to blame for the damage caused and it is unacceptable to think that farmers or their insurance companies must pay for it.’
‘Although it is a step in the right direction, the FF Plus is cautiously optimistic because the ANC government has proven time and again that it is unable to provide for the immediate needs of people in disaster areas.’
‘In the past, other disaster areas only received relief years after the destructive events took place and that may not happen again.’
‘The FF Plus will take this matter further and the party insists that government aid must reach the affected areas as soon as possible so as to bring relief to the agricultural community.’
* Press release