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SA will not run out of food during lockdown - Didiza

Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza appealed to the public to not panic as the country has sufficient food supplies.

Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza at an inter-ministerial briefing on 24 March 2020 detailing how government will respond ahead of and during the 21-day lockdown announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza has reassured panic-stricken South Africans that the country will not run out of food supplies because of government’s lockdown.

Didiza was addressing an inter-ministerial briefing on Tuesday about the latest developments in the fight against the pandemic.

This follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s declaration of a nationwide lockdown from midnight on Thursday.

WATCH: No need for panic buying ahead of lockdown - Didiza

South Africans can still purchase their favourite food item and other essential staples like maize and rice during the 21-day lockdown.

Delivering a message to the agriculture and food sector, Minster Thoko Didiza said several businesses would be affected but the sector was one of the essential systems for livelihood and would, therefore, remain operational.

"As a nation, we boast about being self-sufficient in food production and a part of this year's supply is yet to be harvested, particularly yellow and white maize, which promises to be a bumper-filled crop and the citrus harvest also promises to be good."

Didiza also appealed to the public to not panic as the country has sufficient food supplies.

"The country has sufficient food supplies. Panic buying will only cause disruption and inconvenience in the food system."

To track the latest developments around the coronavirus both in South Africa and abroad, click on this live status report from Strategix.