Summarized by: Matthew Reid
“Political Perils in Africa’s Drought.” Business Week. April 25, 1983
Main Point: Drought increases not only stability but debt as countries are forced to import food and money to deal with crisis.
Summary: The drought in Southern Africa, the worst in fifty years, will force the Republic of South Africa, normally the world’s major #3 corn exporter, to import 2 million tons of food. The absence of South African grain exports for! consumption by black African states invites more instability into the region.
Black Africa relies heavily on South African and Zimbabwean food exports and the latter’s crops are down by half and a third of its cattle has died.
Southern Africa as a whole is importing foods, turning to Argentina and Brazil for goods that they themselves usually export.
More debt, Less power: South Africa’s own black “homelands” are especially hard hit: Gazankulu has lost 10% of its cattle to thirst, 11,000 farmers in KwaNgwawe lost their crops, in Lebowa there is a predicted tripling of infant mortality and deaths from malnutrition, measles, typhoid, and ga! stroenteritis, and Northern Natal’s water rations have been cut by half.
It is estimated that this crisis will require 2 billion dollars in farm subsidies. This increase in the money supply could be detrimental to the Finance Minister’s efforts to cut back on inflation.