SA agriculture sheds 109 000 jobs

by Sunday News Online | Sunday, Nov 5, 2017 | 295 views

Wandile Sihlobo

Cape Town— The combined agricultural job cuts for the past three quarters of 2017 has reached 109 000, of which about 84 percent were in the Western Cape, according to economist Wandile Sihlobo, head of economic and agribusiness intelligence at the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz).

After cutting 84 000 jobs in the first half of 2017, South Africa’s agricultural sector saw a further 25 000 jobs lost in the third quarter, placing SA’s agricultural labour force at 810 000 jobs.

Unlike the past three years when the third quarter figures presented an uptick in agricultural employment, the sector continued to experience job losses this year due to reduced activity in field crops and the horticultural sector, Sihlobo explained in the latest Agbiz newsletter.

In his view, the job losses in the Western Cape reflect the impact of the continued drought on agricultural activity in the province. The province remains the largest agricultural employer with a share of 20 percent.

The Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, North West and Limpopo also saw a decline in employment in the third quarter owing to reduced farming activity during this winter season. — News 24

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