Media Releases

Stability in rural areas necessary for economies to thrive

“Agbiz is alarmed at the high incidence of crime in South Africa, and in particular crime in the rural communities where food producers and many of our agribusinesses are operating,” says Agbiz CEO Dr John Purchase. “We strongly reject and condemn all forms of violence and criminality in all of our communities. Crime in the rural areas leaves the whole farming community vulnerable, and it not only affects farmers, but also farmworkers and their families." - Agbiz media statement issued on 8 October 2020

Published: 08/10/2020


Agbiz welcomes move to alert level 2 (AL2), including the lifting of the ban on alcohol and tobacco product sales

The Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) strongly welcomes the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa over the weekend to move from alert level 3 to alert level 2 and to open up the economy as far as possible, within obvious measures to curb the spread of Covid-19. “The lifting of the ban on alcohol and tobacco sales is very good news and we commend the government for this necessary and well-considered decision,” says Agbiz CEO Dr John Purchase.  - Agbiz media statement issued on 21 August 2020

Published: 21/08/2020


Agbiz announces food relief initiative for needy communities

The neediest in agricultural rural communities will receive food relief under the Agri Value Chain Relief Project, a project initiated and coordinated by the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) in collaboration with Grain SA. Since the national lockdown was implemented on 26 March 2020 the need for adequate food in vulnerable communities has increased rapidly. “In this time of extreme hardship, the agricultural industry can play a significant role to stabilise society and alleviate hunger amongst the most vulnerable of society,” says Agbiz CEO Dr John Purchase. - Agbiz media statement issued on 30 April 2020

Published: 30/04/2020


Agbiz announces appointment of new general manager for Agbiz Grain

Agbiz is pleased to announce that Wessel Lemmer has been appointed as the new general manager of Agbiz Grain, a fully-fledged and dedicated desk under the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz). He will assume responsibilities in July 2020 and will succeed Mariana Purnell, who is retiring at the end of June. Purnell has led Agbiz Grain since it was established by the 12 largest commercial grain-handling and storage companies in South Africa in November 2014. - Agbiz media statement issued on 20 April 2020

Published: 20/04/2020


In containing COVID-19, health and safety should be prioritised in agriculture and agribusiness operations

Agbiz has noted with concern a series of pictures circulating on social media that appear to show agricultural workers being transported in conditions that do not meet the requisite hygiene and sanitation levels required by law at this time of COVID-19 containment. The CEO of Agbiz, Dr John Purchase, stated the following: "Whilst it cannot be verified when these photos were taken, it is disturbing to note that critical restrictions related to hygiene, sanitation and loading capacity appear to have been flaunted. We urge members of the agricultural and agribusiness sectors, who have been granted a special dispensation to continue working under the present circumstances, to strictly adhere to the Government Gazette published regulations and to hold each other accountable to comply with the law." - Agbiz media statement issued on 28 March 2020

Published: 28/03/2020


Agbiz reaction on 2020 Budget: Challenging times for South Africa

This was yet another challenging budget for South Africa. It was tabled at a time of low economic growth, constrained tax revenue and higher unemployment. At the core of reviving South Africa’s economic fortunes is the sustainability of the power supply. While mismanagement of Eskom over the past few years is regrettable, we are encouraged that the government is committed to “do whatever it takes” to ensure stable electricity supply in South Africa. We hope this does not only mean a fixation to Eskom, but acceleration to the already ongoing reforms in the energy sector. The rising government debt related to especially Eskom remains a major concern. - Agbiz media statement issued on 26 February 2020

Published: 26/02/2020


Agbiz responds to the 2020 State of the Nation Address (SONA) by President Cyril Ramaphosa

“Agbiz welcomes the greater realism articulated in the State of the Nation Address (SONA) by President Cyril Ramaphosa, and especially welcomes the emphasis on inclusive economic growth to address key challenges facing South Africa. Considerable reference was made to developing social compacts between government, business, labour and communities to answer these numerous challenges, including especially the high unemployment rate. Agbiz is involved in a number of these initiatives, including the development of a master plan for the agriculture and agro-processing sector, and supports this approach by the government,” Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz, indicated. - Agbiz media statement issued on 14 February 2020

Published: 14/02/2020


Agbiz comments on the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement

This year’s Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) sees a marked deterioration in the budget deficit which is now at 6.2% of GDP from 4.7% in the February budget speech, which is far worse than expected. The key problem has largely been the lack of economic growth as well as mismanagement of Eskom finances. South Africa’s economy is now projected to grow by sub-1% this year and improve marginally to 1.2% in 2020. The efficient collection of tax remains a challenge but we trust this will change with the appointment of a new SARS Commissioner who is focused on rebuilding the institution. - Agbiz media statement

Published: 30/10/2019


Agbiz responds to the release of the Presidential Land Reform and Agriculture Advisory Panel Report

“The Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) has noted the release of the report by the Presidential Land Reform and Agriculture Advisory Panel for public comment today. Agbiz will study the report and its recommendations in detail and respond according to its mandated policy positions on land reform and agriculture,” Dr John Purchase, CEO of Agbiz, said today. - Agbiz media statement

Published: 28/07/2019


Agbiz’s reaction on the SONA

“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

Published: 21/06/2019