DA LEADER Helen Zille warned last night that food security would become South Africa’s next global crisis.

And, addressing the Uitenhage and Despatch business fraternity, Zille highlighted the vital importance of farming.

“There is a whole issue of food security which is taken for granted.

“Food and prices will become the next global crisis in this country,” Zille said.

“The Eastern Cape is the best province to start food production as it has rich and fertile land.”

Zille said infrastructure development in Uitenhage and Despatch also needed to be addressed to boost the area’s economy.

She also promised to investigate the millions of rand which businesses said was owed to them by the municipality. “You should compile a list of businesses waiting for payment from the municipality so that I can take it up directly with President Jacob Zuma,” she said.

DA MPL Pine Pienaar said he had asked Zille to address the fraternity because the two towns were often neglected.

“The metro is only looking at the Port Elizabeth area. No one cares about these two towns,” he said.

“I wanted them to tell Zille the problems that they are experiencing as business people.”

Despatch businessman Thys Mulber called Zille a star.

“The two towns are just the step-children for the metro,” he said.

“I am also happy that I managed to tell Zille about our living conditions that are unbearable, as sewage is flowing in our streets but no one cares. Who would want to come and invest in a place like that?”