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SA’s economy is under fire from all sides, not least from political populists. As GDP growth groans under the weight of pricier debt and parlous employment and manufacturing statistics, a new negative economic indicator has surfaced in the form of the drought in the Western Cape. A primary effect of the water shortages has been on the province’s agricultural economy, one of the biggest contributors to GDP. While it is difficult to quantify the damage the drought has done, the harm to farming is catastrophic. But it is not only farmers, farm workers and their families who will feel the costs. Calgro M3, a listed property developer, says it has significantly scaled down the construction of two big developments in Cape Town due to the city’s water restrictions. CEO Wikus Lategan says the company will try to ensure no jobs are lost due to the decision. Calgro M3 employs 1,600 people on its Belhar and Scottsdene mass-housing developments. But the drought has reached critical proportions,...

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