According to statistics released by the South African Weather Service,the Eastern Cape received less than 30% of its usual average spring rainfall between September and November 2019 with drought-stricken Graaff-Reinet receiving only 12%. The drought has affected 15,000 farms in the province and reduced livestock by as much as 50%, said Agri Northern Cape.
Agricultural experts believe this is the worst drought in living memory, with the drought in the Eastern Cape being dubbed as the worst in a thousand years. Many farming towns, including Graaff-Reinet, Bedford, Makhanda and Adelaide, have experienced water shortages. Santam and Sanlam have collectively donated R3 million towards aid relief for farming communities. The donation was presented to Agri SA Drought Disaster Fund, it is expected that both donations will assist commercial and emerging farmers who are currently impacted by the devastating drought that has hit large parts of the country.
The agri-sector is a critical segment for Santam which holds the largest market share in the sector. Santam views the sustainability of the farming community as important for food security and employment. Therefore, the short-term insurance company feels committed to assisting farmers during the current drought crisis.Lizé Lambrechts, Santam Group CEO, said “The donation is intended to assist all farmers impacted by the drought. “A contribution of this nature will help with retention in the agricultural value chain as we might lose fewer farmers and associated businesses, as a result of factors such as foreclosure.
The R1,5 million donation is an addition to a R300,000 contribution by Santam in April 2019 towards the Agri SA Drought Disaster Fund. Santam supports various Agri unions and fundraising events and remains actively involved with drought relief initiatives throughout the country.
On the other hand, Sanlam prioritizes sustainability as one of its core pillars and has donated a significant amount towards water security through its twelve-year partnership with the WWF. “Sanlam has always prioritized our people, our continent and creating a legacy we’re proud of. Water security is a serious issue in South Africa and one that Sanlam is committed to sustainably solving. We cannot do this alone, it will take collective will and ongoing action,” said Temba Mvusi, Board Director for Sanlam.