On the 15th of February, Minister Nkwinti from the Department of Water and Sanitation hosted a consultative forum on transformation in the water sector. Although the size and nature of the consultation made it difficult to meaningfully participate, the consultation shed some light on four key aspects related to water management in South Africa. - Theo Boshoff, Agbiz head of Legal Intelligence
This year’s Budget Speech comes against the background of tough macroeconomic conditions, characterised by weak economic growth, less effective tax administration and collection, and rising demand for government expenditure, amongst other factors. The frank assessment by Minister Mboweni, as well as the recognition that economic growth is fundamental to fiscal sustainability, is welcomed. - Agbiz media statement issued on 20 February 2019
Agbiz has awarded the Agbiz Centenary Bursary for 2019 to 24-year old Lerato Ramafoko who has completed a BSc Agriculture degree with an agricultural economics major, at North-West University. Lerato is now enrolled at Stellenbosch University for a master’s degree in agricultural economics with Prof Nick Vink as her supervisor. Her proposed research will focus on the trade-off relationship between food security and the environment. - Agbiz media statement issued on 18 February 2019
South Africa’s primary agricultural employment improved marginally to 849 000 jobs in the last quarter of 2018 compared to the previous quarter. Although this data is encouraging in a climate where South Africa is exploring strategies that could unlock job creation in the agricultural sector, the country is still far behind its target of creating a million agricultural jobs by 2030 as envisaged in the National Development Plan. What's more, if the underutilised land in the former homelands and other parts of the country are not brought into full production with a key focus on labour-intensive sub-sectors, notable job creation in South Africa’s agriculture will not materialise. Fortunately, the President in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) signalled a positive message on this. - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz head of Agribusiness Research
On the 14th of January 2019, as the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, I convened a meeting with the Red Meat Association to engage on better responses on the outbreak of the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in Limpopo, Vhembe District. In this meeting we agreed on a collaborative approach between government and Industry in eliminating the spillage. I must commend the contributions so far from the industry in particular at technical committees’ level. The update we are giving today is a cumulative work of the collective past two weeks.
Stephanie van der Walt has been appointed as general manager of the Fruit Desk at Agbiz as of January 2019. The Fruit Desk is an initiative of Fruit South Africa, and specifically the Citrus Growers Association, Hortgro, SATI and the Fresh Produce Exporters Forum, in collaboration with Agbiz. The Fruit Desk is the third industry desk to be instituted at Agbiz. The purpose of the desk is to ensure that the South African fruit sector is represented in matters of policy, regulation and market access.
Water is the most critical resource for economic development and food security and more so in a water stressed South Africa. The Water Resource Commission (WRC) funds a project titled “Agricultural Water Management Scenarios for South Africa” and seeks to capture inputs and contributions from all agricultural water stake holders in South Africa. Mariana Purnell of Agbiz Grain recently participated in a meeting with the research team (from the University of the Free State) which is consulting all stakeholders through a series of small stakeholder workshops and two national symposia to develop scenarios for future agricultural water management in South Africa. The presentations were thought provoking. The WRC also anticipates that that these scenarios will influence future policy.
The decline in South Africa’s tractors and combine harvester sales to 428 and 9 units, respectively, in November 2018 comes as no surprise as most farmers bought some equipment in the past couple of months. This is evident from South Africa’s tractor sales for the first 11 months of this year, which amounted to 6 246 units, up by 4% higher than the corresponding period last year. Over the same period, the combine harvester sales amounted to 194 units, up by a percentage point from the first 11 months of 2017. - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz head of Agribusiness Research
“The damage done to the economy and the social fabric of society by the Zuma administration through so-called state capture over the past decade is enormous. It will take a mammoth effort by all South Africans respecting the Constitution and the rule of law to turn South Africa around on the road to growth and prosperity for all its people. By instituting the Zondo Commission of Enquiry into State Capture and the Nugent Commission of Enquiry into the South African Revenue Service (SARS), as well as appointing Advocate Shamila Batohi as National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), President Ramaphosa has so far made good on his promise to fight corruption and clean up government and governance,” Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz said today. - Agbiz media statement issued on 5 December 2018
“As stated in its comprehensive submission to the Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) in June 2018, the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) confirms its strong position on the protection and extension of property rights. Property rights underline the values and principles related to individual liberty and economic freedom. A strong property rights system is the enabler for fostering investment and economic growth, human capabilities, research and innovation, environmental performance, and the creation of social capital. Property rights are the key ingredient for the prosperity of society,” Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz said today. - Agbiz media statement issued on 3 December 2018