Media Releases

Feedback on NEDLAC's Trade and Industry chamber Strategic Session

The ABC participated in NEDLAC’s Trade and Industry Chamber (TIC) strategic session and was

represented by Dr. John Purchase and Mr Herbital Maluleke. The meeting was opened by the

Executive Director of NEDLAC, Mr. Herbert Mkhize who introduced the Chairperson of the session,

Minister Rob Davies of the Department of Trade and Industry and all delegates of the various

constituencies.

Minister Rob Davies welcomed the delegates. He reminded delegates about the challenges facing the

South Africa industries and dealt, among other issues, with:

12.08.2011 / Media Releases

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Africa Lead partners with ABC

AFRICA LEAD is a USAID-funded project focused on building capacity for agricultural

development in a number of African countries* across the continent. AFRICA LEAD is offering

an opportunity for South African companies to participate in their “Agribusiness Leadership

Program”. By matching private sector hosts from more technically advanced economies (like

South Africa) with participants from enterprises that need technical skills upgrades, the

Agribusiness Leadership Program supports skills transfer to facilitate a greater commercial

model of agricultural production and value addition in Africa.

02.08.2011 / Media Releases

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Africa Lead partners with ABC

AFRICA LEAD is a USAID-funded project focused on building capacity for agricultural

development in a number of African countries* across the continent. AFRICA LEAD is offering

an opportunity for South African companies to participate in their “Agribusiness Leadership

Program”. By matching private sector hosts from more technically advanced economies (like

South Africa) with participants from enterprises that need technical skills upgrades, the

Agribusiness Leadership Program supports skills transfer to facilitate a greater commercial

model of agricultural production and value addition in Africa.

02.08.2011 / Media Releases

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ABC participates in meeting with Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform, Minister Gungile Nkwinti

The ABC leadership was invited to a meeting between the Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR) and commercial farmers. After the meeting was opened, Minister Nkwinti presented the audience with his views on the various Land Reform models. He specified that assisting land reform beneficiaries and emerging farmers cannot be done by government alone, hence this important engagement.

The Minister emphasised the benefit of interacting with farmers and role players to enable government’s ability to achieve land reform targets. “Closing the gap through talking solves many problems”. The Minister urged for better communication, especially between beneficiaries and neighbouring commercial farmers. However, he depicted that the beneficiaries should ask for assistance. “Dit het niks te doen met kleur nie”, the Minster said, when he said black and white farmers should de-racialize the rural economy and stand together to speak with one voice, and defend with one voice their property and farming interests.

28.07.2011 / Media Releases

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ABC hosts high level US delegation

The Agricultural Business Chamber (ABC) was pleased to host a high-level delegation from

the United States (US) on 7 June 2011. The US delegation was led by Mr Jose Fernandez,

Assistant Secretary of State, Economic, Energy, and Business Affairs; US Department of State;

and consisted of Mr Jack Bobo, Foreign Affairs Officer; Mr Ross Kreamer, Minister-Counselor

of US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Services (FAS), and a number of

other US Officials from the US Embassy in Pretoria. The ABC was represented by Mr Schalk

Pienaar, Chairman of the ABC and MD of Suidwes Landbou, Ms Elaine Alexander, CEO of

South African Table Grape Industry (SATGI), Mr Ronald Ramabulana, CEO of the National

Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC), Mr William Malan, Deputy Head of Absa

Agribusiness (all ABC Board members), and Prof Vaughan Hattingh of Citrus Research

International, together with ABC officials.

07.06.2011 / Media Releases

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ABC Centenary Bursary funding student for further studies in the field of agribusiness

The Agricultural Business Chamber (ABC) has strengthened its existing links with South African

Universities through the introduction of the Centenary Bursary for a student registered for a

Masters or PhD degree in either agricultural economics or agribusiness management at any

recognised SA university.

The Centenary Bursary has been launched in honour of those ABC members who recently

celebrated their Centenary, i.e. NWK, Suidwes Landbou, Senwes and NTK. The bursary is

intended to inspire students to contribute towards a positive agribusiness sector in South Africa,

through the knowledge gained by their studies.

27.05.2011 / Media Releases

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ABC’s expectations, based on the Monetary Policy Review, May 2011

The ABC attended the Monetary Policy Forum on Tuesday, 24 May 2011, at the Reserve Bank. Governor

Gill Marcus and the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) members presented the Monetary Policy Review

for May 2011, released on the day.

A lot of speculation regarding the possible increase in interest rates has lately been going on amongst

decision makers and in the media. The MPC presented their views (as per the Review document),

identified some important aspects they base their decisions on and provided just enough to say much, but

reveal nothing – leaving one to “read between the lines” towards expected changes in monetary policy.

The MPC perceive the global economic recovery to be on track, taking in consideration the number of

vulnerabilities continuing to characterise the global economy. Global inflation risks have also increased,

particularly in emerging market economies. Many emerging market economies have recently tightened

their monetary policies (with other words increased their interest rates) in response. The domestic

growth prognosis has also improved, even though growth remains below potential.

27.05.2011 / Media Releases

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From the “highs” in 2008, to the “lows” in 2009 and again the “highs” in 2011

Agribusinesses in South Africa have had positive business confidence for a year now; peaking since the beginning

of 2011. According to the results from the ABC/IDC Agribusiness Confidence Index, agribusinesses’ confidence

increased to 62.7 index points in the second quarter of 2011. It is a mere 1% higher than the first quarter of 2011

and 12% higher than the same quarter of the previous year.

Last year this time (second quarter of 2010), the ABC/IDC Agribusiness Confidence Index reached 55,7 index

points - it was the first time to be in positive territory (being above the neutral level of 50 basis points) since the

third quarter of 2008.

27.05.2011 / Media Releases

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Positive confidence levels maintained for almost a year now

The ABC / IDC Agribusiness Confidence Index reached its highest level in more than three years. The index

measured at 62 basis points in the first quarter of 2011; which is 13% higher than the preceding quarter and

43% higher than the same quarter of the previous year.

The positive confidence is largely due to higher commodity prices, increased international demand, the

recovery of the South African economy from the recession, and a significant improvement of general

agricultural conditions, when compared to last year. Government’s indication to work with the commercial

agriculture sector on the New Growth Path may be a further contributing factor to positive sentiment.

However, some looming constraints, such as cost of capital, infrastructure and service delivery, still inhibit

employment and capital expenditure, while both floods and droughts in certain areas have impacted

negatively on certain industries.

14.03.2011 / Media Releases

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Agricultural Business Chamber’s Response to Minister Gordhan’s Budget Speech

The Agricultural Business Chamber (ABC) found the Minister of Finance,

Min Pravin Gordhan’s Budget Speech on 23 February 2011 to be predictable and positive. It is

responsive and reflective towards the challenges faced in South Africa and in consideration of the

global economic changes. This predictability and stability is essential for business and is therefore

welcomed by the ABC.

The Minister’s focus on addressing the slow economic recovery and high unemployment is

encouraging. The mentioned collaborative approach between the Monetary and Fiscal Policy is also

welcomed considering the stimulus effect required from the fiscal policy and the management of price

and financial stability by the monetary policy. Notably, the Minister took cognisance of the risky

inflation outlook, especially considering the increase food inflation.

23.02.2011 / Media Releases

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