the weakest link
How municipalities are destroying SA business
In the crumbling Mpumalanga town of Standerton, chicken producer Astral Foods can’t get the water it needs to operate. In the Free State and Eastern Cape, Pioneer Foods can’t get the electricity it needs for its mills. It’s a similar story right across the country, with 62% of municipalities classified as dysfunctional. How can President Cyril Ramaphosa talk of bullet trains and skyscrapers, when our municipalities are such basket cases?
In 2014, poultry company Astral Foods built a R200m animal feed mill in Standerton, a town on the Vaal River about two hours from Joburg. It was exactly the kind of investment the economy needs to trigger growth, create jobs and compete globally.
Astral, which sells more than 200-million chickens a year, is the town’s biggest employer, as well as its biggest customer for water and electricity.