News archive

News archive - March-2020

Urgent call for businesses to divert PPE inventories to national healthcare sector

Business for SA’s Public Health Workgroup is calling on all companies, especially those in lockdown, to urgently divert their stocks of personal protective equipment (PPE) for use in the national healthcare sector. The PPE is critically needed to protect frontline doctors and healthcare workers, and to keep them healthy in their fight against the pandemic. - Media statement from Business for South Africa Public Health Workgroup issued on 30 March 2020

31.03.2020 / Agbiz in the news

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Recommended Standard Operating Procedure for Agribusinesses in light of the COVID 19 shutdown

As you are aware, the President has announced a 21-day national lockdown starting from Midnight on Thursday the 26th of March 2020. The Regulations outlining the restrictions will be applicable on the movement of people and goods during this time has been published on the 25th of March 2020 and can be accessed here. The Minister has indicated that the food supply system must remain functional and that the agricultural value chain is an essential sector that must remain uncompromised. Communication is paramount in these challenging times and as agribusinesses must be empowered with correct and up to date information. These Standard Operating Procedures have hence been developed so that agribusinesses have certainty as to the correct procedures, protocols and measures that must be followed to remain in operation. - Theo Boshoff, Agbiz head: Legal Intelligence

 

30.03.2020 / Agbiz in the news

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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

28.03.2020 / Media Releases

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The recent sharp price increases in South Africa’s white maize shouldn’t be a worry: a temporary market blip

In times of uncertainty, as we are in during COVID-19 and a 21-days lockdown in South Africa, any unusual rise in prices of goods which society relies on the most can be discomforting. This is particularly the case with South Africa’s staple white maize prices, which on 23 March 2020 reached the highest levels last seen in 2016, which was a drought period, at R3 981 per tonne. The question some might be confronted with is whether such price moves should be a concern to the extent that policymakers might need to intervene in the market by setting a price cap? The short answer is no. - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz chief economist

25.03.2020 / Agbiz in the news

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What COVID-19 means for South Africa’s agriculture and food supplies

The COVID-19 pandemic is fast changing the way we live our lives, without exception. The virus has affected every facet of life – health and safety, travel, school and work, and access to basic provisions, such as food. Many supermarkets are in a frenzy as people scramble to secure basic needs amidst impending uncertainty. In this note, we attempt to understand the impact of the COVID-19 on South Africa’s agricultural sector and also food supplies. We offer perspectives on perceived food shortage, agricultural commodities price dynamics, farmers indebtedness and policies that can be implemented. - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz chief economist

23.03.2020 / Agbiz in the news

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