Citrus ban on SA products could affect up to 80 000 jobs

It has been confirmed that the European Union (EU) has enforced the ban on South African citrus products.

How will the Gamtoos valley be affected? Photo: David Higgs
How will the Gamtoos valley be affected? Photo: David Higgs

This comes after the EU warned South Africa about the continuing disease in our products, specifically black spot.

Last week the EU cautioned South Africa about its intent to ban citrus products for the coming year.

This has now been imposed and poses a risk to our economy.

Currently, the citrus industry employs 40 000 permanent workers and an additional 40 000 seasonal workers.

If this ban is not lifted urgently, 80 000 jobs could be affected and the prohibition on SA products to the EU could cost the country over R13 billion per annum.

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“Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, in conjunction with her colleague and Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies must act urgently and reassure the European community that everything will be done to prevent black spot from spreading.

It is essential to reassure investors that South Africa is serious about pest control”, said Annette Steyn, the DA Shadow Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

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“The DA urges government to do everything possible to reassure investors that pest control measures will be implemented without delay. Jobs, families and ultimately breadwinners are depending on this sector for their livelihoods” added Steyn.