The agricultural and agribusiness sectors, who have been granted a special dispensation to continue working under the present lockdown circumstances, needs to strictly adhere to the Government Gazette published regulations.
The majority of enterprises in the agricultural value chain qualify as “essential services” under the regulations published by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Nkosasana Dlamini-Zuma. The Regulations permit entities involved in the production and sale of essential goods, such as food items, to continue operating under the national lockdown, but subject to strict hygiene, sanitation and social-distancing protocols.
Dr. John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz, said that farmworkers are the bedrock of the agricultural sector and these men and women are currently risking their safety and health to ensure the nation stays food secure during these trying times. Their safety cannot be compromised as there would be no food security without them. “By not complying, the sector runs the risk of more stringent and onerous measures being introduced.”
“We urge the sector to hold itself accountable and prioritise the health and safety of everyone in the food value chain. It is our firm belief that the vast majority of employers in the sector have the best interests of their workers at heart and are working under trying conditions to ensure the nation stays food secure.