In a bid to ensure that access to food amid the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, the Department of Agriculture announced on Tuesday that it had donated R1.2 billion towards the continued production of food in the country.
Addressing the media in Pretoria on Tuesday, Minister of Agriculture Thoko Didiza assured the public that there was no need to stockpile supplies as the production and supply of food would continue.
“Panic buying will only cause disruptions and inconvenience in the food system. I urge you, fellow-citizens, to also be considerate and purchase that which is sufficient for your needs,” said Didiza.
The sudden state of panic which has swept the nation comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announced a 21-day lockdown effective from midnight tomorrow (Thursday) evening.
However, according to Didiza, the public does not need to worry as exports and imports of agricultural products remain intact with the majority of the country’s supply chains still open.
She added that retailers and wholesalers should refrain from price gouging during this difficult period, with many South Africans set to lose their jobs as a result of the lockdown.
“You have an important role to play in the supply of food, and the fight against Covid-19. We ask that you continue to serve the nation and help ensure food security at this critical juncture,” she said. – Bjorn Vorster