Asanda Matlhare
Intern Journalist
1 minute read
20 Dec 2021
7:00 am

Recent rains a gift and a curse for some farmers

Asanda Matlhare

Heavy rains have delayed planting in parts of the country.

While the excessive rain was worrying, farmers were not yet in a crisis. Photo for illustration: iStock

While the water and sanitation department is happy the Vaal Dam has reached 100% capacity for the second time this year, the heavy rain has become excessive, affecting some farmers.

“We welcome this development, remembering that we did go through a long and serious drought a couple of years ago so we need all the water we can get in the catchments so our dams can have sufficient water,” said spokesperson Sputnik Ratau.

He said, however, there are other dams that are still low “but when you look at the national average, we are quite happy with where we are now”.

ALSO READ: Vaal Dam full to the brim, thanks to recent rains

But agricultural economist Wandile Sihlobo said although the rain was generally welcomed, it has resulted in delays in planting in parts of the Eastern Cape and to an extent in the western Free State and North West.

“Some areas had to re-plant but have not suffered significant damage at this point.

“What we would like to see is rather two, three days of sunshine per week so there is a bit of dryness which would allow farmers to proceed with planting and for younger crops to get a bit of heat and improve in growing conditions,” said Sihlobo.

He said while the excessive rain was worrying, farmers were not yet in a crisis.

“Although the excessive rain is starting to worry many people, we still think this will be a relatively good season. But we need more sunshine, especially in central SA.”