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The government has failed to respond to the country’s national drought appropriately and the poor are bearing the burden of its dereliction. "I don’t want to speak more about this poverty and drought because it turns me back to something. It makes want to blame my government‚ which is not good": these are the words of David Baloyi‚ an emerging Limpopo farmer‚ who feels let-down by government in the wake of the country’s El Niño-induced drought. The voices of Baloyi and his colleagues are among those presented in a drought report by charity organisation Oxfam‚ released on Tuesday‚ titled A Harvest of Dysfunction: Rethinking the Approach to Drought‚ its Causes and Impacts in SA. The report found that the voices of the poor‚ and particularly women‚ were absent from the drought narrative that dominated media reports and government statements. Baloyi has been farming orchids‚ white maize and cattle with some success in tough conditions‚ but when the drought hit he found it increasingly d...

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