News archive

News archive - December-2017

SABC News interview: Land expropriation without compensation

The ANC decided at its conference in December that it would propose amendments to the constitution to seize land without compensation to speed up the process of giving black people more land that they were stripped of during white rule. ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa has assured people that the policy on the expropriation of land without compensation will be implemented in a manner that will not cripple the country or destabalise the agricultural sector.  Theo Boshoff, Wandile Sihlobo and Sifiso Ntombela have authored a discussion paper on the land reform debate.  Theo Boshoff joined SABC News live to discuss the paper.

13.02.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Redistribution of land: Expropriation without compensation debate

During the ANC's 54th National Elective conference in December 2017, it was announced that a decision has been made to amend the constitution to allow for land expropriation without compensation, provided that it is sustainable and does not harm the financial sector or food security. In the absence of a policy paper or explanatory memorandum, it remains unknown how the party intends to give effect to these seemingly competing interests. In order to stimulate public debate around the issue, researchers from Agbiz have attempted to unpack the possible modalities of the announcement by using a scenario-based approach - Theo Boshoff, Wandile Sihlobo and Sifiso Ntombela of Agbiz

09.02.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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South Africa remains a net exporter of aggregate food but increasingly loosing competitiveness on strategic tariff lines

South Africa’s agriculture, forestry and fisheries achieved a positive trade balance of R44.3 billion in 2017, largely driven by 1.9 percent growth in aggregate exports as compared to the previous year. Europe and Africa continued to be the largest destination markets for agricultural exports, collectively absorbing 70.5 percent of total exports in 2017, measured in value terms. During the same time, imports slowed by 3.9 percent due to a 24.7 percent decline in imports originating from American countries - Sifiso Ntombela, Trade economist and Agbiz Head: International Trade and Investment 

08.02.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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South African tractor sales for January 2018 up 10% y/y

After the solid performance of 19% y/y increase in December 2017, the South African tractor sales were again up by 10% y/y in January 2018, with 527 units sold. This was somewhat surprising given that the area planted with summer crops declined in the 2017/18 production year. With that said, we believe that the uptick was due to a fairly stronger domestic currency, as well as late plantings in the western parts of the country - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist

08.02.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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African farming must plot its own course

Last week, I came across an interesting article by the U.S. agricultural economist, Jason Lusk, highlighting the disruptive trends in food and agriculture. Lusk identified six key trends on the horizon. However, the two most notable ones were: (1) Blockchain – an underlying technology that facilitates bitcoin trades and could be applied to many other industries; and (2) Online food buying – Amazon might do to food what they have done in other industries - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist.

01.02.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Western Cape drought weighs on broader economy

When it comes to agriculture, Western Cape is essential – not only because of its production of fine wines, but also for its contribution to South Africa's agricultural labour market and the broader economy.  The province is a leading employer in primary agriculture, commanding a share of 20 percent of the country's total agricultural labour force in the third quarter of 2017. In addition, the province is the second-largest contributor to the agricultural economy in terms of gross domestic product (GDP), with a contribution of 22 percent - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist

01.02.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Agbiz presents to the Portfolio Committee on the National Credit Amendment Bill

In the 30th of January 2018, Agbiz delivered a presentation on behalf of its members to the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry on the proposed amendments to the National Credit Act. The National Credit Amendment Bill, 2017, is unique in that it was initiated not by the Department of Trade and Industry, but by the Portfolio Committee itself. The primary aim of the Bill is to assist the most marginalised people in our economy, namely overindebted persons who earn an income of less than R7500 per month with not realisable assets - Theo Boshoff, Agbiz Head: Legal Intelligence

01.02.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Early estimates show a 7% y/y decline in SA’s 2017/18 summer crop plantings

South Africa’s 2017/18 initial estimates for summer crop plantings show a 7% year-on-year decline to 3.70 million hectares. White maize, sunflower seed, groundnuts and sorghum plantings are the key reason for this overall downswing. This, in turn, was driven by dry and warm weather conditions experienced in the western parts of South Africa over the past couple of weeks - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist

30.01.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Americas remain dominant suppliers in SA chicken market

In the first eleven months of 2017, South Africa imported a total of 461 thousand tons of chicken. This is down by 7 percent when compared to the corresponding period in the previous year. During this period the Americas, that is, Brazil and the United States, were the key suppliers accounting for more than two thirds of the imports - Sifiso Ntombela, Agbiz Head: International Trade and Investment Intelligence

25.01.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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Wat sê die wet oor grond?

Ten midde van die politieke onsekerheid in die land, moet landbouers heelwat ander uitdagings ook bestuur. Daar is verskeie opinies oor wat vanjaar in terme van grond, water en lone gaan gebeur, maar wat sê die wet? Theo Boshoff van Agbiz gesels hieroor.

25.01.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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SA food producer price inflation ticked up slightly to 1.0% y/y

The headline food producer price inflation for December 2017 edged up slightly to 1.0% y/y from 0.9% y/y in the previous month. Similarly to November, meat and dairy products continued to be the key drivers of the uptick. Meanwhile, producer price inflation for foods such as starches, sugar, fruits and vegetables slowed on a monthly basis. Apart from higher live animals’ prices, agricultural commodity prices are still relatively low, which is keeping the food producer price inflation at lower levels - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz economist.

25.01.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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SA food price inflation slows to 4.9%

Food inflation for December 2017 was in line with our expectation at 4.9% y/y, from 5.2% in November 2017. This is reflective of the current lower agricultural commodity prices, which in turn, have been pressured by a large harvest from the 2016/17 production season. We expect this trend to persist in the short term cushioned by the relatively large stock from the previous season, despite the fears of dryness in the western parts of the country - Wandile Sihlobo, Agbiz Head: Agribusiness Intelligence

24.01.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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2018 Agbiz Congress

The Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) of South Africa will be holding its biennial Congress at the Boardwalk Hotel and Conference Centre in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape on 7 to 8 June 2018.  Register now to benefit from the early bird registration fee. More information is available on the 2018 Agbiz Congress website» 

22.01.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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What should be done to kickstart the agricultural economy, instil business confidence and ensure policy certainty, from an agribusiness/agriculture perspective?

In 2017 the agricultural sector provided a significant boost to the national economy and assisted it from falling into a protracted technical recession. This was on the back of exceptionally good rainfall early in 2017 that resulted in record maize (17,4 million metric tons) and soybean (1,3 million metric tons) crops, amongst others, and despite severe drought conditions in the Western Cape. Agriculture GDP is however highly volatile over seasons and largely dependent on favourable agricultural conditions - Dr John Purchase, Agbiz CEO

19.01.2018 / Agbiz in the news

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