#SADrought deals Rooibos production hard blow

Consumers may face Rooibos shortage as the harvest is severely affected by the water crisis.

FILE: Farmworkers process Rooibos in the Cederberg region. Picture: Aletta Harrison/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Rooibos production is set to take a significant knock next year due to the water crisis.

Rooibos farmers in the Cederberg and Bokkeveld areas, in the Western Cape, and some parts of the Northern Cape have received little to no rain between July and August, which is the sector's planting period.

There are also concerns the price of Rooibos could rise.

The South African Rooibos Council's Ernest du Toit says the 2016 harvest could be severely affected.

"The crop last year was about 11, 000 tons and the demand was 15, 000. This year with the drought, it's likely that the crop will be below 11, 000 and the demand is going to continue. The bad news for the consumer is that there is going to be potential shortage."