On 31 May 2019 a composite 396-page Government Gazette was published containing dozens of notices and legislative changes from across many different ministries that appears to be an effort to reduce gazetting costs and to dispense with outstanding matters prior to the new cabinet ministers taking over.
Agbiz chief economist Wandile Sihlobo was nominated as one of Mail & Guardian's Top 200 Young South Africans. The names of 200 trailblazing young South Africans was announced at a gala event in Sandton.
The State of the Nation address delivered by President Ramaphosa set out five fundamental goals for South Africa. Three of these goals, namely; eliminating hunger, growing the economy faster than the population growth rate and creating 2 million job opportunities, are partially premised on economic growth in the agricultural and agribusiness subsectors. To enable the private sector to grow and create job opportunities, the President stressed the need to improve the ease and speed of doing business. As a business association, this is music to our ears. To get the ball rolling, a few quick-wins are listed that should be prioritised to improve business conditions for the agribusiness sector. - Theo Boshoff, Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence
“In these tough economic times, it was refreshing to hear President Ramaphosa’s recommitment to placing South Africa’s economic growth at the forefront of the sixth administration's agenda,” an Agbiz spokesperson said. “We were also pleased to hear the president’s re-emphasis of the need to implement the National Development Plan (NDP) and the country’s commitment to vision 2030. In this vision, the agricultural value chain plays a crucial role in the growth and stability of rural economies.” Agbiz has long supported and argued for the implementation of Chapter six of the NDP over the past few years as it is the roadmap to inclusive growth in the sector and will address the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality. - Agbiz media statement issued on 20 June 2019
“Agbiz has noted the appointment of the new Cabinet for the sixth Administration of democratic South Africa by President Cyril Ramaphosa today, and in general, welcomes the appointments to key ministries and congratulates the ministers on their appointment. It is, however, the reduction of 36 ministries to 28 that is especially welcomed in order to cut costs but also to ensure greater government coordination and efficiency,” Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz, said today.
The South Africa-China wool trade story is back in the headlines, but this time around in a good way. Nearly two months since the Chinese authorities temporarily suspended wool imports from South Africa because of the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak earlier in the year, the country's authorities issued a notification on 8 May stating that the ban will be lifted that same day. This news was warmly welcomed by Cape Wools SA, stating that the lifting of the ban implies that any scoured wool or mohair could be exported to China, but that the conditions under which greasy wool could be exported, will be subject to World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) "Safe Commodities" regulations. - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz chief economist
Aside from the robust policy discussions at Nampo, the agricultural machinery role players are likely to be downbeat at this year's event. The drought earlier this year in the central and western parts of South Africa led to reduced plantings, and now expectations are for a lower summer grains harvest. This is likely to weigh on farmers' finances, and thus agricultural machinery sales. In fact, tractor and combine harvester sales figures for the first four months of 2019 were already lower compared with the previous year's performance. - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz chief economist *Written for and first published in Business Day
Agbiz CEO Dr John Purchase participated in a live Nation in Conversation panel discussion at Nampo on the importance of public-private partnerships for sustainable economic growth.
There are multiple new opportunities for local producers to enter the world with their agricultural products, but South African farmers are not always sufficiently equipped to maximise those opportunities. How can this be overcome, and new markets be secured for the South African farming community?