South Africa

Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting South Africa.

Impacts Agriculture

Agriculture, which accounts directly for about 13 percent of national employment, is a critical component of the economy that is highly sensitive to climate variability. Climate change impact on food production, agricultural and subsistence livelihoods, rural nutrition and food security are of high concern. Being the largest consumer of water (consuming about 50 percent of the country's water for irrigation), the sector is vulnerable to changes in water availability as well as increased chemical water pollution and soil erosion, from a combination of projected spatial changes in rainfall patterns, increases in intense rainfall events and increased evapotranspiration. Yields for certain crops such as maize and wheat are vulnerable to climate change. Significant relationships have been found between grain crop production and rainfall in all provinces that contribute 20 percent or more to national production. A decline of 1.16 percent in maize production and 0.5% in wheat production for every 1 percent reduction in rainfall was projected from these trends. Marginal land will also become prone to reduced yields and crop failure because of diminished soil productivity and land degradation.

This section provides a summary of key natural hazards and their associated socioeconomic impacts in a given country. It allows for a quick assessment of most vulnerable areas through the spatial comparison of natural hazard data with development data, thereby identifying exposed livelihoods and natural systems.

% change of crop yield projections
< -60% > 80%
« Click on the map to view site-specific crop data.