Power Outages Plague South African Farmers: A Case Study of Chicken Farmer Herman Du Preez
North West Province-based chicken farmer Herman Du Preez is still reeling from the loss of 40,000 broiler chickens that suffocated due to power supply disruptions in Lichtenburg earlier this year.
*South Africa’s power generation struggles have led to rolling power blackouts of up to 8-10 hours per day *These blackouts impact businesses of all sizes, including farmers
The Importance of a Consistent Power Supply for Farmers
A majority of Du Preez’s chicken operation depends on a stable power supply to maintain the optimal environment for his chickens. Here’s what he relies on:
- Regulating feed
- Cooling systems
- Humidity control
- Temperature regulation
Without guaranteed electricity, Du Preez has resorted to using three backup generators.
The Need for a Collaborative Solution
Du Preez urges the South African government and the agricultural sector to collaborate on finding ways to minimize the impact of power outages on farmers. He believes this would help reduce food prices.
*Farmers across various sectors need consistent power for their operations, including maize growers and cattle farmers *Reliable power is essential for water pumps used to supply animals with water
Du Preez suggests easing the number of phases farmers must go through to address the power issue.
Energy Expert Weighs In on the Situation
Adil Nchabeleng, an energy expert, believes residents who suffered significant losses should express their frustration with the government. However, he remains optimistic about improvements.
*The new minister focuses on extending the lifespan of power stations and increasing electricity output *Improvements in power generation could lead to economic growth, job creation, and the revival of the agricultural sector
The Economic Impact of Load Shedding
South Africa’s power problems have taken a massive toll on its GDP. The central bank estimates that $51 million is lost every day due to load shedding.
Learn More About This Issue
Watch the video on Africanews.com for more information on the heavy cost of load shedding on South African farmers.