#SADrought adds to job losses issue in the Cape

The provincial government says the dry spell has had a disastrous impact on the agriculture sector.

FILE: Western Cape farmers have cut back on dozens of seasonal jobs amid a devastating drought. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape farmers have cut back on dozens of seasonal jobs amid a devastating drought.

The provincial government says the dry spell has had a disastrous impact on the agriculture sector.

Agriculture and Economic Opportunities MEC Alan Winde visited a farm in Wellington yesterday, he says his department is in the process of assessing the full impact of the drought.

"I am concerned [but] not really for the permanent jobs in agriculture, it's the temporary jobs that will not materialise in a number of our areas. Even with volumes down, there probably will be less temporary workers."

SEASONAL FARMWORKERS FACE A DOUBLE BLOW

The Western Cape provincial government tabled an early analysis of the impact of the water shortage in parts of the Cape.

It fears some farmerworkers' jobs are at risk.

Winde says some seasonal workers, in towns severely affected by the drought, face a double blow.

While many of them may be without an income, they will also be forced to deal with an expected increase in in food prices.

Indications are that the wheat industry has been the most severely affected.