Countrywide drought road shows to be held

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana and Deputy Minister Bheki Cele will this week embark on drought relief road shows across the country.

The road shows, according to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, will kick off on Friday at the Ekulindeni Community Hall in the Gert Sibande District Municipality, in Mpumalanga.

The Mpumalanga MEC for Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs Andries Gamede will host the Minister's first road show.

The Minister and the MEC are expected to distribute animal feed, water tanks and also engage farmers during the Chief Albert Luthuli Municipality visit.

"The Minister and the Deputy Minister will visit farmers affected by the drought to monitor progress made by provinces on the provision of drought relief measures," said the department on Tuesday.

Government has established a drought response coordination mechanism comprised of the Technical and Inter-Ministerial Committee.

The department said the provincial government has responded through the re-prioritisation of the available resources.

"A comprehensive plan was developed and the department has spent R318 726 million on drought relief," it said.

In the State of the Nation Address (SONA) delivered last week, President Jacob Zuma said government will continue to provide water to areas seriously affected by the drought.

In addition, government has been providing relief to affected provinces such as the North West, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.