The FF Plus is shocked and disgusted by the news that nearly R220 million, which was earmarked for drought relief in KwaZulu Natal, went missing. It is unclear how the money went missing and the FF Plus demands an urgent investigation into the matter so that the guilty parties can be called to account.

The drought has already taken its toll on the agricultural sector with livestock deaths and poor harvests being at the order of the day. There have been enormous livestock losses in the Free State, Northern Cape and Eastern Cape in particular and some of these parts have not had any rain since November 2017.

The government must urgently prioritize drought relief for commercial as well as emerging farmers. The government must also ensure that the process is managed properly so that the money allocated to drought relief is not stolen, as is the case in KwaZulu Natal.

Drought relief must be provided to farmers before the winter commences so as to prevent any more losses.

At this stage, losses incurred as a result of the severe drought include nearly 31 000 job opportunities and more than R7 billion. This crisis does not only affect the agricultural sector, but can have far-reaching consequences for the entire country and all its citizens.