KwaZulu-Natal dairy farmers have had to dump hundreds of thousands of litres of fresh milk down the drain since violent protests, looting and vandalism hit KZN, later spreading to Gauteng.
Colin Wellbeloved, the chairperson of the South African Milk Producers’ Organisation, said that he and his neighbours have had to destroy 60 000l of milk over the past two days, because they were unable to distribute it.
A video of some of the milk tanker trucks dumping milk on the farm has since gone viral online. In the video, tanker trucks can be seen ‘watering plants with milk’ which the farmers can’t keep any longer.
“I am also concerned that retail milk stocks are going to decline alarmingly because of the logistical problems caused by the protesters,” he said.
Wellbeloved was also concerned about the increasing difficulty to get products such as animal feed delivered to the farms because of road closures and attacks by looters.
He added that he was extremely worried that a number of milk farmers would be forced to exit the milk production industry because of the protest and ensuing vandalism.
According to him, profit margins in the dairy production sector were very tight already, and some producers would find it extremely difficult to financially survive this setback.
Widespread rioting and looting first broke out over parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng following the imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma for contempt of court on 7 July.
Watch the video below;