No need for panic buying in wake of Russia-Ukraine conflict: S.Africa minister

Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, Thoko Didiza. /SABC

South Africa’s minister for Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Thoko Didiza says the country should not be in a panic about any impending food shortages due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis.

This follows reports of panic buying caused by fears of food shortages in South Africa in recent weeks, due to the conflict which brought global economic uncertainty.

Didiza met with stakeholders in the food and agricultural industry and farmers associations. They discussed the availability of food safety as part of the Inter-Ministerial Task Team’s assessment of the Ukraine conflict to the local economy.

Didiza stressed that there’s no need for panic buying.

“As a result of global uncertainties there’s a little bit of price hike on food and there was a panic on some of our citizens that there might be having a scarcity in food types. So we want to assure our citizens that there is enough at a moment that we have as a country, particularly on those staples such as grain, white and yellow maize.

“So I thought it’s important to assure our citizens that we do have enough and therefore there’s no need for panic buying. There’s very little that we import from Ukraine and Russia in terms of oil. So from where we seat we don’t have any anxiety or sense that we need to panic,” says Minister Didiza.

(With input from agencies)