‘SA should brace for less rainfall in coming years’

This is South Africa’s worst drought in 30 years and is only forecast to end around autumn next year.

FILE: Extreme heat, uncharacteristic snowfall and cold fronts during the summer months have been caused by climate change, which worsened over the past 15 years. Picture: Freeimages.com.

JOHANNESBURG - As South African farmers look to new types of seeds and different methods of irrigation amid the current drought, AgriSA says the country is drought-stricken and should brace for lesser rainfall in the coming years.

This is South Africa's worst drought in 30 years and is only forecast to end around autumn next year.

AgriSA advisor Kosie van Zyl says South African farmers must use materials and processes suitable to country's climate.

"There are some of these varieties that need lesser water and South Africa is drought-stricken country so we must actually cut our cloths according to size of the material we have; GMO is one of the matters they can use and they use it quite a lot."

Earlier today, Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said South African farmers must adapt to changing weather patterns brought about by climate change.

The minister said extreme heat, uncharacteristic snowfall and cold fronts during the summer months have been caused by climate change, which worsened over the past 15 years.

Molewa said in places such as northern KwaZulu-Natal, shorelines have already started receding while the western part of southern Africa continues to dry.

She said the effects of climate change can already be seen in places like Durban and that the ongoing drought means it's time for farmers to think differently.

"Rain patterns are changing. We're beginning to see snow falling where it never fell, in the Eastern Cape. In fact, right now, the Eastern Cape is one of our provinces where we can actually plant maize."

She said the western parts of the country are becoming drier.

"In some instances also, much more densification is happening."

The minister said climate change can be reversed with the right development and energy use.