JOHANNESBURG - The country’s largest poultry producer has sent out a warning to government that it could see social unrest soon.
Astral Foods says deteriorating municipal services and the country’s ongoing electricity crisis are making food insecurity and social tension meaningful threats.
Costs associated with power cuts, water issues, and feed led to an almost 90-percent drop in its interim profits.
The company declared no dividend, even though revenue rose about 6-percent to almost R10-billion.
This was largely driven by higher prices.
Rolling blackouts cost the group R741-million in the first half of the year.
Astral increased spending on feed as it had to sustain birds for longer because outages delayed slaughtering, as well as the cost of diesel, and overtime wages.