The Langeberg Municipality is aware of the closure of Langeberg & Ashton Foods (LAF) and its negative impact on the economic activities in and around the Langeberg municipal area. Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs), contractors, suppliers, local farmers, and the staff (permanent and temporary) that depend on LAF will lose their main source of income due to the factory’s closure. This will not only result in higher unemployment numbers in the area, but also affect social issues within our communities.
From a Local Economic Development point of view, the factory’s closure will have a direct impact on the agriculture sector as the farmers will have to find alternative markets for their fruit.
This will also create job losses on farms and fruit packhouses. The closure also affects the second economy that feeds from the factory being operational. The local taxi industry that provide transport to the workers and those operating in and around the factory would lose income.
The factory had an operational clinic that provided health care services to workers, the closure of the facility would also create a further burden on our health system.
The municipality will mainly be impacted by the loss of revenue and the increase of indigent households.
Loss of revenue
With the factory closure, there will be a reduction in the net revenue that is normally generated after the costs of service delivery is deducted.
Increase of indigent households
The closure of LAF might cause factory workers to be unemployed and their households falling within the ambit of indigent. This means there will be an increase in indigent households who the municipality must provide free basic services for.
The Mayor has already had meetings with farmers and role players in the canning industry, these talks are ongoing.
The Premier of the Western Cape has also been consulted and efforts are on the way to look for investors.
The Langeberg Municipality will facilitate and assist where possible to try and save the factory. The Municipality is continually involved in projects to stimulate economic development and business retention in the Langeberg region.
ALD SW VAN EEDEN